The Power of Praise
This is a talk I gave at a Cafe’ Praise BBQ at our house during the summer of 2013.
As the song goes: I’m building a people of power. I’m building a people of praise.
Question: Why do we need power, and what’s that got to do with praise?
NIV- NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
From the lips of infants and children you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
Mighty God, whose glory is displayed across the heavens, appoints the praise of little children to silence the dark powers arrayed against Him.
NAS –NEW AMERICAN STANDARD
From the mouth and infants and nursing babes Thou hast established strength, because of Thine adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
Infants gurgle choruses about you and toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk and silence atheist babble.
Answer: Praising God gives us power and strength.
Question: How does praising God give us power and strength?
Speech, having a voice…we are the only creatures on earth that can speak. That is one of the ways we are made in the image of God.
God spoke the earth into being and created an atmosphere where He could create, and then He spoke the rest into being. He created the heavens and the earth, the waters of the seas, by saying (speaking out) “Let there be light”
We have that same ability to speak things into being and make an atmosphere where God can work. We can make a positive, Godly, atmosphere or a negative atmosphere by what comes out of our mouths.
We all recognise what kind of atmosphere an angry person coming in the room can create. Every word they speak spews out anger and hurt on others causing fear and intimidation or more anger that may lead to violence and hatred. We can also make a negative, destructive gossip atmosphere speaking about others and their mistakes or deeds. Sharing stories that we may not even know are true, just because we love the attention and scandal, and a chance to point the finger at others.
A complaining negative atmosphere is easy to create by complaining and murmuring about anything and anyone. Focussing on all the negative things happening to our loved ones, speaking them out over and over again, and reinforcing what the enemy is doing. Someone who never sees the good in anything is not living in the Kingdom of God but in the world. They are not living in faith but in fear and unbelief, or someone who is full of self-pity, “Woe is me, woe is me”. It makes me cringe and I want to run away from them.
Think of other situations where an atmosphere is created by speaking, for example, ghost stories told around a campfire at night. Atmosphere of fear! The opposite atmosphere is joyful children laughing and having fun.
Two young people in love bring their own atmosphere into a room or onto a bus. However, someone who is peaceful will bring that atmosphere of peace with him wherever he goes. Someone who carries a lot of authority creates an atmosphere of authority when he walks in the room. i.e. Chief of Police, General in uniform.
John the Baptist was the Voice crying in the wilderness “prepare the way of the Lord”. His crying out created an atmosphere for repentance. Young David declaring the Lord God was stronger than Goliath, brought about the giant’s defeat.
2. USHERS US INTO HIS PRESENCE
The Bible says that God inhabits His people’s praises. When we are truly praising from the heart, it brings God’s presence, the Holy Spirit, into our midst.
Our praises create an atmosphere where God can work. Healings can take place, miracles and all manner of Holy Spirit manifestations.
The atmosphere of praise and worship is a Holy place. In His presence is a safe place, and where we have a divine exchange of the bad or wrong thoughts in our minds for the love of God and His peace and His assurance. In His presence we can hear Him more clearly. We begin to see what God is doing in our midst and how He keeps His promises of Romans 8:28.” And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
We are not vulnerable to the enemy’s promptings; we can discern the truth from the counterfeit.
3. PRAISE IS A WEAPON
The first lesson I learned as a new Christian, was by a woman who was instrumental in my conversion. She said, “The fastest way to make the devil run is to praise God”. Every time I had bad thought, worry or unfounded fear, like something bad happening to my children, I began to praise God, by singing the praise choruses I’d learned, and my atmosphere of fear turned to an atmosphere of trust and faith. I remember that lesson still today and use it regularly. When I get horrible thoughts, bad dreams, fears, guilt, regrets, heartache. I proclaim Jesus is Lord of my life by singing His praise and defeat all my foes.
In His presence is the fullness of joy, and the joy of the Lord is my strength! He is my strength and my song!
When Jehoshaphat went to war and sent the Worship Group before the army. He knew praise of the Living God was a weapon of warfare.
2Chronicles 20:21-22 “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of His holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying, “Praise the Lord for His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come against Judah, and they were defeated.”
Praise and the presence of God bring victory! Jehoshaphat shows us a great lesson on the power of praise and the resulting presence of God. In verse 15 the Levites responded by praising God with strong voices and the appointed singers began to sing and praise; that praise in which God is enthroned. The connection between praise to God and the defeat of the enemy is clear, as God brought total victory.
Remember when David played and sang Gods praises to comfort Saul, when he was tormented by a demon? The praise songs shut the demon down! Hallelujah!
Psalm 8:2 from the lips of infants and children you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
So you see, even if you are only a small child you can sing praises to God and create an atmosphere to bring (the presence of) God, Himself, into your circumstances and shut your enemies down. PRAISE THE LORD!