The Power of Praise & Worship
Acts 16:23-26 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.
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
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?
Paul and Silas knew the secret of how to lift their
hearts above their troubles and enter into Gods 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 (Psalms 22:3). 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 (Psalms 100:4).
This corresponds with Jesus teaching, that His
presence will inhabit the gathering of believers who congregate in His name: For
where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them
(Matthew 18:20). A gathering in His name means that Jesus must be the focus,
the center of the assemblage. He must be the one preached about, sung about the one
praised and worshiped. I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the
church will I sing praise unto thee (Hebrews 2:12). Consequently, Christs
presence, along with His virtue and anointing, is manifested in this type of gathering.
Have you ever noticed when gifts of the
Spirit operate in a church service? The power and anointing of the Holy Spirit
usually becomes evident, subsequent to a time of worship and praise. Some think that
worship is a response after the Holy Spirit moves upon them. However, its the other
way around. Gods presence responds when we move upon Him with worship! Lifting up
Jesus Christ through praise and worship invokes the Lords presence and power to flow
in our midst.
Praise 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 (Psalms 89:15).
There are many actions involved with praise to God
verbal expressions of adoration and thanksgiving, singing, playing instruments,
shouting, dancing, lifting or clapping our hands. But true praise is not
merely going through these motions. Jesus spoke about the hypocrisy of the
pharisees, whose worship was only an outward show and not from the heart. This
people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their
heart is far from me (Matthew 15:8). Genuine praise to God is a matter of humility
and sincere devotion to the Lord from within.
Unpretentious praise and worship pleases the Lord.
He delights in the love and devotion of His children. According to the scriptures, the
various expressions of praise bring blessing to the Lord. He eagerly awaits the fragrance
of our affections, desiring to manifest His sweet presence and power in our midst.
...the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the
Father seeketh such to worship him (John 4:23).
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 Lords presence, along with His power and
anointing. ...I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in
my mouth (Psalms 34:1).
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 (Hebrews
Since praise manifests Gods 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 Lords habitation
in praise. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his
conversation aright will I show the salvation of God (Psalms 50:23).
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 Gods 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!
Declaring of thanks (Heb. 13:15)