I read a great quote today about the power of praise. It was that, “if we only have ten minutes to pray we should spend about eight minutes praising God.” (Derek Prince).
Words that are often used as synonyms of praise, and so help point to it’s meaning, are “bless, ” “exalt, ” “extol, ” “glorify, ” “magnify, ” “thank, ” and “confess.” To praise God is to call attention to His glory.
When we praise, God actually promises that He will come and inhabit our praises. (Psalm 22:3) God essentially “dwells” in the atmosphere of praise and thanks and transports us into the realm of the supernatural and the release of the power of God.
“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of your countenance” (Psalms 89:15).
Paul and Silas’s account in the bible illustrates just what praise can do. After their unjust arrest the local authorities beat them both and then threw them into a jail cell. Besides the trauma of the severe beating they had suffered they were then fastened in stocks and locked up in what would have resembled a dungeon. Yet in spite of their pain and the depressing atmosphere they found themselves in at midnight Paul and Silas were heard praying and singing praises to God!
Suddenly, there was an earthquake that shook the prison! The doors flung open, and amazingly, the chains of Paul, Silas, and every other prisoner were released! (Acts 16:16-40)
Praise is an expression of faith, and a declaration of victory! It declares that we believe God is with us and is in control of the outcome of all our circumstances (Romans 8:28). Paul and Silas knew this fact and how to lift their hearts and mouths above their troubles and enter into God’s presence and power. They chose to praise in the midst of their hardship and it provided a channel for God to release His power to operate in their circumstances.
That’s because praise is also a weapon of warfare against evil, for when we praise the bible teaches us that it silences the devil. It literally repels the presence of evil and oppostiion through creating an atmosphere which is filled with sincere praise to God which is disgusting to the devil and makes him retreat. (Psalm 8:2)
C.S. Lewis wrote that praise is “inner health made audible”. It can change us if we allow it to. Praise can change relationships, hearts, and mindsets. When we praise our focus shifts from our problems and presumed impossibilities, onto God who specialises in doing the impossible. Praise causes us to move from problems to a solution; from pain to promise and from hurt to hope.
I encourage you today to reject the worry, lies, stress and cares of the world that can so easily steal our peace and thoughts to praise and give thanks to God. Make praise part of your lifestyle; as part of your speech, prayer-life, and relationship with God. It’s not just a church thing but also as we work, travel in the car, when we are faced with and in the midst of hard times, when we are at home, in bed, or anywhere; praise brings the refreshing of God’s presence, along with His power and ability to overcome.
“…I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalms 34:1).
Prayer: Lord please help me to praise you in every circumstance, because I know that praising you is what helps me overcome and triumph. Thank you for everything you have done for me and for the amazing future I have. In Jesus name Amen.