When we praise we are offering up to the Lord our appreciation for all His goodness. Before the cross, most sacrifices were the blood and flesh of animals. Now we can offer those same type offerings with the words from our hearts. It is the condition of the heart that makes our sacrifices acceptable unto the Lord, not our predicaments. When Paul and Silas were arrested they were beaten on their backs and then put in maximum security.
Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God and the prisoners heard them.
Midnight is the darkest hour of the night and they were in the most secure part of the prison. There was no light. Paul and Silas began to pray and praise so loudly all the prisoners could hear them.
Could you and I pray if some tormentor beat the meat off our backs? Yes, if we chose to! Would we feel like it? No! Nothing the devil could do would discourage these two men from their commitment of Christ. I don’t know what they expected to happen when they praised, but the great earthquake shook the very foundation at the prison. All the shackles of the prisoners fell off and all the doors swung open. The prison guard and all his family were saved that night because two men in maximum security chose to praise the Lord.
Psalms 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings You have ordained praise because of my enemy, that You might STILL the enemy and the avenger.
Still—cause to fail—cause to know lack—put away—get rid of—take away.
When the innocent and the righteous praise the Lord our enemies begin to fail in their purpose. I don’t think any of us had any idea of what our praise would accomplish. Being ignorant of these truths we didn’t invest much in time in praise. When I praise the Lord my focus is on what He had done to get my name in the Book of life. I don’t consider what He does to my enemies while I praise Him. I believe Paul and Silas were totally surprised over what the Lord did for them that night. I think God protects praisers because He doesn’t want anything to hinder their praise.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
By definition, worship is a position of the body, one could raise their arms or kneel. It’s what you do when your arms are raised or when you’re on your knees that defines your worship. A true worshipper must have some revelation of their Savior in order to worship in truth.
Man does not worship with his lips, he worships with his heart.
In light of this we don’t know when a man is worshipping and praising the Lord. The outward expression reveals nothing. Man looks on the outside, God looks on the heart. We can praise the Lord anytime we want to no matter the circumstances. Praise makes God glad and the devil mad. I’m glad God is glad.
Pastor Jerry Lamping
Born and raised in Helena, MT, has been a Pastor for over 20 years.