IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: THE UNFATHOMABLE, STRENGTH, POWER OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD”
What is Praise and worship?
Praise and worship means “to commend, to applaud or magnify.”
For the Christian, praise to God is an expression of worship, lifting-up and glorifying the Lord. It is an expression of humbling ourselves and centering our attention upon the Lord with heart-felt expressions of love, adoration and thanksgiving. High praises bring our spirit into a pinnacle of fellowship and intimacy between ourselves and God — it magnifies our awareness of our spiritual union with the most high God. Praise transports us into the realm of the supernatural and into the power of God. “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance”
Brethren, praise and worship cannot be a second-class business; for it is evidently due to God, and that in a very high degree. A sense of justice ought to make us praise the Lord; it is the least we can do, and in some senses it is the most that we can do, in return for the multiplied benefits which he bestows upon us. What, no harvest of praise for him who has sent the sunshine of his love and the rain of his grace upon us! What, no revenue of praise for him who is our gracious Lord and King! He doth not exact from us any servile labour, but simply saith, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me.”
Praise is good, and pleasant, and delightful. Let us rank it among those debts which we would not wish to forget, but are eager to pay at once.
Praise and worship is an act which is pre-eminently characteristic of the true child of God. The man who doth but pretend to piety will fast twice in the week, and stand in the temple and offer something like prayer; but to praise God with all the heart, this is the mark of true adoption, this is the sign and token of a heart renewed by divine grace. We lack one of the surest evidences of pure love to God if we live without presenting praises and worship to his ever-blessed name.
There are two profound elements of worship: celebration and proclamation.
God cherish more than anything our fellowship, praise and worship because He is God that cherish relationship with His creatures.
Worship is celebration – a celebration to be experienced and a celebration to be shared. This message reminds the hearer of the power of worship to an unbelieving world.
“And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.
Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed”
Acts 16: 23-26
This Bible story begins the unjust arrest of Paul and Silas. Because they had cast a spirit of divination out of a girl, the local Philippian authorities beat them and then threw them into a jail cell. Besides the trauma of the severe beating, they were fastened in stocks which clamped their arms and legs in an immobile position, causing cramps and loss of circulation. The atmosphere there was depressing. According to the standards of that day, a prison was more like the resemblance of a dungeon. A dark, damp, stench-ridden place, with no facility for waste or comforts of any kind.
Yet, in spite of the throbbing pain in their bodies and the disheartening atmosphere, at midnight Paul and Silas were heard praying and singing praises to God! What a strange sound this must have been to the other prisoners, who were used to only hearing the groans or cursings of those who had been beaten.
Then suddenly, there was an earthquake that shook the prison! The doors flung open, and amazingly, the bonds of Paul, Silas, and every other prisoner were released! What caused this mighty discharge of power?
Praise Elevates us into God’s Presence and Power
Paul and Silas knew the secret of how to lift their hearts above their troubles and enter into God’s presence and power. Through praise and worship their hearts were raised into the joyous presence and peace of God, and provided God a channel for his power to operate in their circumstances.
The Bible says that “God inhabits in the praises of His people“
In other words, God “dwells” in the atmosphere of His praise. This means that praise is more than a reaction of coming into His presence… praise to God is a vehicle of faith which takes us into His presence and power! Praise and worship is the “gate-pass” which allows us to enter the sacredness of His glory. The psalmist writes, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name”
Praise to God is a Lifestyle
All too often, praise to God is something that many people leave at church, an event that happens only when they come together with other Christians. However, praise should be a part of a believers lifestyle, inter-mingled as a part of their daily prayer-life. At work, in the car, at home in bed, or anywhere; praise to the Lord brings the refreshing of the Lord’s presence, along with His power and anointing. “…I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth”
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).
Praise is a “sacrifice,” something that we offer to God sacrificially, not just because we feel like it, but because we believe in Him and wish to please Him. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name”
Praise Sends the Enemy Running
Since praise manifests God’s presence, we also realize that praise repels the presence of the enemy, Satan. An atmosphere which is filled with sincere worship and praise to God by humble and contrite hearts is disgusting to the Devil. He fears the power in the name of Jesus, and flees from the Lord’s habitation in praise.
“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God”
When the children of Judah found themselves outnumbered by the hostile armies of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, King Jehoshophat and all the people sought the Lord for His help. The Lord assured the people that this would be His battle. He told them to go out against them, and He would do the fighting for them. So what did the children of Judah do? Being the people of “praise” (Judah actually means Praise), and knowing that God manifests His power through praise, they sent their army against their enemies, led by the praisers!
So on they went, ahead of the army declaring, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endureth forever!”
And the scripture says, “…when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten”
(2 Chronicles 20:22).
When God’s people begin to praise His name, it sends the enemy running! I challenge you to become a person of praise, and you will experience the release of the power of God!
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