Created to praise
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
When a baby takes their first steps, parents praise them. A Teacher praises their students. Fans praise their teams victory. When we pass a test we have studied for, we praise. When we overcome our adversaries, we praise. When we get a promotion, we praise. When we achieve something great, we praise. A coach praises his team. You accomplish a goal you set for yourself, you praise. Everywhere we look we can see the evidence of praise in action.
We were created to praise.
It is in our very nature to express warm approval or admiration! We were created to praise our Creator. (Psalm 47:6) God wants you to know you have been called to a life of praising Him. Isaiah 43:21 says “the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.” Our very life was created to sing a song of praise to God. God is looking for those who will open their mouth and praise Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23) We praise Him for His goodness. His steadfast love. His greatness. His strength. We praise him for his mighty deeds. Praise him according to His excellent greatness! (Psalm 150:2) We must be a people to answer the call and praise God who is worthy to be praised! (Psalm 135:1-3) How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him! (Psalm 147:1) We have been instructed by the Living Word of God to give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Praise changes everything.
Question, have you ever had a bad day? Maybe you are like me and you have days where you have an attitude that well, just down right stinks? Maybe you’re in a funk and need to shake it off? Great news, I have an answer! One word. Praise! In those moments, beloved you have to decide that no matter what is going on or how you “feel” that you are going to open your mouth and begin to praise God! We can not be a people lead by our “feelings”. Feelings are fickle and they are subject to change. (Gal 5:25) We need to settle it deep in our heart that we were created to praise God no matter what. We have been called to a position of praise. (Psalm. 35:28) Praise is one of the most powerful ways we can change our life! Praise changes everything. Praise moves the heart of God the Father. (Psalms 149:4, Psalm 69:31)Praise invokes God’s Presence. (Psalm 22:3) Praise silences the devil. (Psalm 8:2) Praise breaks strongholds. Our praise is a weapon warfare. (2 Chronicles 20:22) Praising God redirects our focus and suddenly our perspective changes. Praising God shifts our atmosphere, our heart and our attitude.
Praise takes us to a place of humility.
When we make the choice to praise God it brings us to a place of humility. Our praise to God says we need you, we acknowledge you, we love you, we look to you, we honor and stand in reverence of you. When we praise God it is our own way of intimately expressing to Him how much He means to us. It causes our hearts to bow realizing our need for Him. Praising God reminds us that He is in control. He is the solution to every problem we face. (Proverbs 3:5-6) As we enter His gates with thanksgiving everything changes. (Psalm 100:4) Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! (Psalm 95:6)
Praise gives you victory over the enemy
Our key verse can give us great hope in understanding the power of praising God. Let’s get some background to the story first! The magistrates ordered Paul and Silas to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. (Acts 16:22-24) I would imagine these men are sitting in cold prison cell in a pool of their blood as their flesh was tore open and hanging. The pain they must have been in at the moment physically, mentally and emotionally I can not fathom. Surely, they had every opportunity to be angry and fearful in this moment. BUT, the Word records that at about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God!!! They chose to pray and sing praises to God instead. What happened next is nothing short of the miraculous. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. (Acts 16:26) Because of their choice to pray and sing praises to God the Philippian jailer and is whole household was saved! You see, when we make the choice to praise God we get the victory over the enemy. We receive peace in exchange of fear, understanding in exchange of confusion, joy in exchange for heaviness and victory in exchange for defeat!
Beloved, whether we find ourselves overwhelmed with burdens, worried about tomorrow, or loving life on the mountain top we can make the choice to praise God for who He is and His promises over us are yes and amen. (2 Corinthians 1:20) We can praise Him that we have been blessed with the free gift of salvation and eternal life. We must make it a practice to praise God for his goodness and honor Him. Let us not forget we have been called to praise the One who created us and He is worthy to be praised.
Father God, thank you. Thank you that you are my Redeemer, defender, healer, provider, and friend. Help me to remember that through my praise you give me victory over the enemy, you produce a fruit of humility in me, and I am fulfilling the call you have placed on me. Help me to live a life of praising you Lord for you are worthy to be praised. In Jesus, name amen.
Beloved, Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)