The Power of Praise
Praise is the act of expressing approval or admiration. Worship is reverent honor and homage paid to God. While most Christians think of praise and worship as interchangeable, there is tremendous power in praise.
Praise is the Response to the Infilling of the Spirit
Ephesians 5:18-19 – “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
Praise and worship triggers the overflow of God’s Spirit in our hearts. We not only enter God’s presence through praise (Psalms 100:4), but we are also filled with His presence through worship. Are you feeling spiritually dry? Worship Jesus with all your heart and the Spirit of the living God will fill your innermost being to overflowing.
James 4:8 – “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
John 7:37-39 – “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. This He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive.”
Praise is also the response to being filled with God’s Spirit, which cries out from within us in prayer and praise.
Romans 8:15 – “You have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
Galatians 4:6 – “And because you are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”
Throughout scripture people were worshiping and magnifying God when filled with the Holy Spirit. Worship is one of the evidences of the Spirit filled life. As the Holy Spirit flows within our heart, the natural response of the human spirit is praise and worship.
Acts 10:45-46 – “On the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.”
Praise Creates an Atmosphere for Hearing From God
If you want to hear from God, you must worship Him. Acts 13:2 says, “While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said.”
When I am in a service where the praise and worship is intense, I feel the greatest anointing in my preaching and teaching. It’s in this type of atmosphere that God seems to speak the clearest. Whether in your personal time with God, or a public setting, praise is the key to hearing from Him.
We also find this when we are in a spiritual battle. It’s when we are going through a time of difficulty and spiritual conflict that we desperately need to hear from God. In 2 Kings 3:15-16, Ahab and Jehoshaphat ran out of water while going to battle Moab. Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not a prophet of the Lord here that we may inquire by him?” One of the king’s servants said, “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here.” Jehoshaphat said, “The Word of the Lord is with him” (2 Kings 3:11-12).
They went to Elisha and he told them, “Bring me a minstrel.” After the minstrel played Elisha proclaimed, “Thus says the Lord.” It was when the musician began to play that the Lord spoke to Elisha, giving him the needed Word to lead them to victory.
It was only after the musician began to play that the Lord spoke to Elisha, who gave them the Word of God they needed for victory. This is why a worship leader’s job is so important.
People who minister on a worship team should never underestimate the importance of their calling. They are the ones who set an atmosphere for the church hearing God speak. Worship ushers in the anointing of God, not only in church services, but also in our personal devotions. We should always have a time of praise and worship prior to our study of the Word, whether it’s in a corporate setting or in our personal devotions.
Praise Releases Stress and Anxiety
Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The prescription for stress and anxiety in Philippians 4:6-8 is prayer, praise, and a positive mindset. We need to “cast all our care upon Him, for He cares for us” (1 Peter 5:7). That said, prayer alone is not enough. Prayer focuses on the problem, where praise focuses on the solution. Prayer keeps our concentration on the cause of our stress and anxiety, whereas praise moves our focus and concentration from the cause to the one who is the solution to our stress.
It’s important to pray, but don’t stop there. We must always move from prayer to praise, so we don’t dwell on the problem but on the solution. In Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.” True rest in found in God! “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9).
Praise Releases the Generosity of God
Think about how you feel when your children tell you how great you are. Our immediate response is usually, “What do you want?” We laugh, but if they are constantly praising us, we usually give them anything they want. This is especially true of grandchildren. God is the same. If we are continually praising and worshiping the Lord, telling Him how much we love Him and how great He is, He is likely to give us anything we desire (Psalm 37:4), sometimes even before we ask.
Isaiah 65:24 – “It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”
How great is that? Praise brings this to fulfillment in our lives. If we will spend more time in praise and worship, we will have a lot less to pray about.
Praise Causes our Enemies to Flee
In 2 Chronicles 20:12, the enemy was coming against the people of God and Jehoshaphat was afraid and said, “We have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
Have you ever been in a place where you were afraid, felt completely overwhelmed, and had no idea what to do? That is exactly where they were. It was only when they praised the Lord with all of their heart that He struck down the enemy before them. They didn’t even have to lift a hand to fight. Their praise was not timid and ritualistic, they “stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a very loud voice” (2 Chronicles 20:19). They praised Him with all their might, and as a result, God fought for them, struck down their enemy, and gave them victory.
In Exodus 17:10-13, when Amalek fought against Israel at Rephidim, Moses sent Joshua to fight for Israel while he stood on top of the hill with Aaron and Hur. When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed. When he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. When Moses grew weary, Aaron and Hur held up his hand allowing Joshua to overwhelm Amalek. Every man of God needs those who will hold his hands up when he becomes weary.
In Exodus 17:15, Moses built an altar and named it Jehovah-Nissi, “The Lord is My banner.” As long as Moses kept his hand lifted high in praise, Israel prevailed against the enemy. The same is true for us. If we constantly praise and worship Him, God will cause us to prevail and our enemies to flea before us. Let’s lift up His banner high and unashamedly for all to see. Victory is ours!