Welcome back to this series on prayer. If you have missed any previous posts you can click here to catch up. But in this post, we are focusing on fasting and prayer.
When I first outlined this series on prayer, I thought that I would be using the OT experiences of Israel and the times that the singers led the army into battle. As it happens, that only happened once in 2 Chronicles 20 and there wasn’t going to be a battle because God had said He would fight for them and they were going to observe the victory. So Jehoshaphat sent out his army, not to fight, but to watch what God would do. And who did he place at the front line?
His best singers!
He placed the singers ahead of the soldiers and commanded them to shout out praises to God. They lifted their voices and sang, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever” (v. 21).
And God did rout the enemies, the three armies that had come against Judah, causing them to turn on each other and every one of them was killed.
God will fight for you
God will fight for you, when you place your full trust in him. When you stop worrying and trying to fix it all on your own, you allow the space for God to step in. Give the glory to God and praise his power and faithfulness. Trust that God is working for your good in all things.
“And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed,” (2 Chron. 20:22).
And don’t forget that the ultimate good for which God is working in you is to conform you to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29).
God will protect you
God is your shelter from the storm, your refuge in times of trouble. He will protect you from the battles in this life. So, rejoice in the God who loves you so much and give him your praise.
When your heart turns to God, trusting him and praising his great name, you’ll find his peace which passes all understanding.
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you,” (Psalm 5:11).
“Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him!
Let all the upright in heart exult!” (Psalm 64:10).
God will renew your spirit
When the trials of this life leave you worn out and weary, singing God’s praises will fill your heart with joy. Lift up your heart to God and allow him to refresh and renew your spirit.
Praise can turn around even the worst day and make your heart feel light. It can boost your spirits and put a smile on your face.
So, turn up a worship song and sing along.
Pray along with your favourite Psalm of praise.
Look around you and praise God for all the blessings you see.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him,” (Psalm 28:7).
Praise is a gift and an offering to God
Praise is not only a command but a gift we give to God. It’s a sacrifice of our heart – giving him our best, even when we don’t feel up to it. The more we praise God and give him this gift, the more we’ll be filled with God’s love to share with others.
Praising God through the storms not only blesses God but will bless those around you who witness such faithfulness.
“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God,” (Hebrews 13:15-16).
Praise gives trouble a proper perspective
When life is hard, it’s easy to focus on all the problems you’re facing. Those challenges begin to loom larger and all you can see are the difficulties you’re facing.
When you turn your heart to praising God, though, those problems begin to shrink. As your eyes focus on God, you’ll find a new perspective on your trials. As the song says, “the things of this earth will grow strangely dim”.
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,” (Colossians 3:2).
Praise opens your eyes to blessing
When you’re embattled and under fire, it can be hard to notice the blessings. Your focus is on the issues in your life, not on the blessings.
Praising God will open your eyes to see all the ways God is at work in your life. You’ll see the blessings he’s given you outside of these trials and you’ll see how he’s at work in your battles. Set your eyes upon him, and you’ll see him more clearly.
“So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper,” (Deuteronomy 8:6-9).
Praise paves the way for miracles
Do you need a miracle? Do your problems seem bigger than any earthly solution? How are you praising God and praying for that miracle?
When troubles begin to surround you, look for ways to focus your thoughts and actions on praise and thanksgiving. Allow God to work his wonders through your testimony of praise through the storm.
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened,” (Acts 16:25-26).
What has been your experience with prayer and praise? Have you experienced a victory through your praising of God? What will you do to incorporate praising God into your habits of grace? We would love to talk with you about this.
Leave us a comment and let us know about your experience of praise and prayer. Is there something we can pray about with you? Send an email to email@example.com.
Want to pray with us? We host two online prayer gatherings each week. Tuesday morning at 10:00 am Eastern time and on Thursday evening at 9:00 pm Eastern time. We are happy to have you join us and we will send you the Zoom link if you ask for it. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 800-784-7077.