Why Do We Praise Him Every Sunday? Page 2 of 2
by John Lowe
God’s children are foolish if they stop praising when they suffer under hardships and downtrodden feelings. But as they come to know God more, they will find that even a Philippian jail can become a place of songs. According to Acts 16:25, “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” Paul and Silas were praising God inside the jail cell. Their praise broke loose all the jail doors. Jail doors were opened twice in Acts. Once they were opened to Peter and once to Paul.
In Peter’s case, the church prayed fervently for him, and an angel opened the door and brought him out (12:3-12). In Paul’s case, he and Silas sang hymns of praise to God, and all the doors opened and the chains broke. The jailer believed in the Lord on that day, and his whole family was saved in a joyful way (16:19-34). Paul and Silas offered the sacrifice of praise in the jail.
The wounds on their bodies were not yet healed; their pain was not soothed. Their feet were in the stocks, and they were shut in an inner jail of the Roman Empire. What was there to be joyful about? What was there to sing about? But there were two persons with inspiring spirits, who had risen above everything. They saw that God was still sitting in the heavens; He had not changed at all. They might have changed, their environment might have changed, their feelings might have changed, and their bodies might have been suffering, but God was still sitting on the throne.
He was still worthy of their blessings. Our brothers, Paul and Silas, were praying, singing, and praising God. This kind of praise, which arises out of pain and loss, is a sacrifice of praise. This kind of praise is a victory. Many times praise works where prayer fails. This is a very basic principle. If you cannot pray, why not praise? Whenever you run out of strength to pray and you find your spirit heavily broken, wounded, or sagging, praise Him. If you cannot pray, try to praise.
We invariably think that we should pray when the burden is heavy and praise when the burden is over. But please bear in mind that there are times when the burden is so heavy that you cannot pray. That is the time for you to praise.
We need to praise Him “Because He is worthy to be praised!” and “Because We Need to Praise Him in our Victories,” and also --
3. We need to Praise because it strengthens our Faith.
Psalm 106:12 is a very precious word. “Then they believed His words; they sang His praise.” This was the condition of the children of Israel in the wilderness. They believed, and they sang. They believed, so they praised. Praise has a basic ingredient—faith. You cannot praise vainly with the mouth. You cannot say in a flippant way, “I thank the Lord! I praise the Lord!” You must believe.
Only after you have believed can you praise.
When you have some problems or when you are sorrowful, you pray, and as you pray, a kind of faith rises up in your heart. At that moment you open your mouth to praise. This is the Christian way, but do not do this in a light manner. Living Ministries puts it this way, “When a man is faced with a problem, he should pray. But as soon as he finds a little faith, as soon as he begins to believe in God and in His greatness, power, compassion, and glory, he should begin to praise.
If a man acquires faith but does not follow it up with praise, he will soon find that his faith is gone. Once you have faith within, you should praise. If you do not praise, you will lose your faith after a while. You may
have faith now. But after a while, you will lose that faith. Therefore, we must learn to praise.”
We must learn speak and maybe sing words of praise. We have to open our mouths to praise. We should have not only a mind to praise but also actual audible words of praise. You have to praise God in the face of all your problems and in the face of Satan. You should say, “O Lord! I praise You!” Do this until you turn from having no feeling to having feeling, or from having a feeble feeling to a strong feeling. Do this until you turn from little faith to full faith. The difference is that when you wake up in the morning do you say good morning Lord, or do you say good Lord it’s morning.
Once God’s glory fills your eyes, you can believe. Once His glory fills your spirit, you can praise. You have to see that God is above everything and is worthy of your praise. When you praise, Satan flees away.
Sometimes we need to pray. But when our prayer reaches the point where we have faith and assurance, we know that the Lord has answered our prayer, and we should praise: “Lord! I thank You! I praise You! This matter is already settled!” Do not wait for the matter to be over before you praise. We have to praise as soon as we believe. Do not wait until the enemy runs away to sing. We have to sing to chase him away.
We have to learn to praise by faith. When we praise Him in faith, the enemy will be defeated and driven away. We have to believe before we can praise. First we believe and praise, and then we will experience victory.
In his book, The One-Minute Manager, Kenneth Blanchard recommends developing the practice of "one-minute praising," where the manager (or parent, spouse, etc.) tries to "catch someone doing something right" and then spend a full sixty seconds praising that person for the good deed. This is a lot more difficult than it appears. Where we might not find it difficult to criticize someone for even sixty minutes, many times we find it almost impossible to praise someone sincerely for a full minute.
And this is true for the church as well. It seems that it can be hard for some people to Praise God. Even in our prayer time, we can sure list off the prayer needs but I think we find it difficult to come up with praises.
The more we praise God for everything that He has given to us the less we will criticize others. The more we praise Him in the church the more we will see His hand and Spirit moving through the church.
An African American minister by the name of Robert Dyson gives us an awesome picture of praise.
Listen to what he says: “We praise HIM because He has been doctor when we were sick. We praise HIM because has been a Lawyer when we were in trouble, and HE has been mother for the motherless and father for the fatherless. We praise HIM because HE has been shelter from the rain, and medicine for our pain. We praise HIM because HE has been a rope of hope when we were sinking in the seas of sadness and sorrow. We praise Him because when we had fallen and couldn’t get it, HE came where we were and put His loving arms all around us and lifted us from the muck and mire of sin.”
We need to praise Him, and that is why we spend a lot of time in our services praising Him; because He is worthy of our praise. We have had a lot of victories and so we need to praise Him in those victories, and we praise Him because the more we praise Him the more our Faith increases.