Praise is a powerful weapon for spiritual warfare that is often neglected. Praising the Lord can be a humbling experience, involving singing, lifting of hands to God and weeping. Men, in particular, have a difficult time getting into this emotional state because of cultural pressures. When we humble ourselves before the Lord, we invite Him to work through us.
What is Praise?
Definition: "Glorify by the attribution of perfections" (Webster's)
Praise is commending, by speaking or singing, the perfections of God. The writer of Hebrews explained that praise is a sacrifice as the "fruit of our lips" (Hebrews 13:15 NKJV).
What does praise do?
Some of the results of praising the Lord include:
• Greatly pleases God: David noted, "I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs" (Psalm 69:30-31 NIV).
• Releases God's blessing: "Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips" (Psalm 63:3-5 NKJV)
• Drives back the enemy in spiritual warfare (see below).
• Invites God into our lives: God literally inhabits the praises of His people. The Amplified Bible states "But You are holy, O You Who dwell in the praises of Israel" (Psalm 22:3 AMP).
Who should praise the Lord? Praise is something all people should give the Lord:
• Everyone in future generations: "Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD" (Psalm 102:18 NIV)
• All nations: "Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD" (Psalm 117:1-2 NIV)
• Everything that has breath: "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD" (Psalm 150:6 NIV).
Praise in warfare
• Praise is a weapon for spiritual warfare:
"Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples" (Psalm 149:6-7 NKJV)
• Praise silences evil forces:
"From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." (Psalm 8:2 NIV)
• Praise brings deliverance and victory:
"After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever." As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated." (2 Chronicles 20: 21-22 NIV) (see 15-22 for the entire story)
"The voice of the LORD will shatter Assyria; with his scepter he will strike them down. Every stroke the LORD lays on them with his punishing rod will be to the music of tambourines and harps, as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm." (Isaiah 30:31-32 NIV)
• Praise counters the spirit of despair: "and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." (Isaiah 61:3 NIV)
• Case study: Jehoshaphat defeats Moab and Ammon (Chronicles 20:1-30)
• Case study: David returning the Ark to the City of David (2 Samuel 6:9-23 & 7:1-16)
What we should do:
• Praise and sing to the Lord:
"Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre." (Psalm 33:1-2 NIV)
• Praise the Lord continuously:
"I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips." (Psalm 34:1 NIV)
"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name." (Hebrews 13:15 NIV)
• Praise the Lord together:
"Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together." (Psalm 34:3 NIV)
• Praise the Lord with singing and music:
"It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands." (Psalm 92:1-5 NIV)
• Praise the Lord for making you:
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:14-16 NIV)
• Praise the Lord with thanksgiving whenever we approach Him:
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. " (Psalm 100:4-5 NIV)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009