Praise and Worship
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.
– Psalms 150:6
Praise and worship are two of the most powerful tools that The Lord has provided us with for battle. When we are in the midst of the war, we must remember that these two can break the darkness instantly.
It seems these days there is not enough emphasis in many churches on praise and worship. It has become 2 or 3 songs at the beginning of the service, and then we move on. But I don’t believe it should be this way.
I think the enemy knows how important praise and worship really is, and how much power it holds. He doesn’t want Christians to begin harnessing this power, and so he has been quietly working at getting it pushed aside.
The book of Psalms is practically a whole guide on praise and worship. If it were just a minor piece of the puzzle, I don’t think The Lord would have dedicated the longest book in The Bible to it.
I feel we need to purpose in our hearts to make praise and worship a big part of our day, our church service, and our relationship with Christ.
The Story of Paul and Silas
In Acts chapter 16:16 we hear the story of Paul and Silas.
They come across a woman that has a spirit of divination (fortune-telling). She begins to follow them, telling everyone that they are servants of God. Paul commands the spirit to leave this woman, and it does. The woman’s owners take Paul and Silas to their rulers and tell them of what they have done. These people beat Paul and Silas and throw them in jail.
Now, at this point, most people would probably not think to worship God. I don’t know about you, but I’d probably be having a pretty big pity party right about now. But not these two men, nope.. they decide to lift their hands and praise their Savior.
As they start to sing, the other prisoners hear them and probably begin questioning why they are doing this.. Well, right then and there they get their answer. The walls start shaking!! I mean, for real start shaking! The Lord sends an earthquake to rock the whole prison! He could have just made the key appear, or you know, quietly unlocked the door… but not our God. No way hozay! He is a big, huge God.. and so He decides to show these guys what He’s made of….
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed
– Acts 16:26
When the prison guard saw this happen he was so afraid. He bowed down in front of Paul and Silas and asked them how he could be saved…
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
– Acts 16:31-34
I think it’s safe to say, praise and worship is no joke.
In the midst of what seemed like a hopeless situation, they decided not to allow their circumstances defeat them, but instead, they chose hope. They chose to praise their Lord, giving Him the glory in their darkest moments. And because of their faith, their cry entered into their Father’s ears. He heard them, and He delivered them.
Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, he heareth him.
– John 9:31
The Lord is so wonderful and mighty, He is always worthy of our praise and worship. He is the God that created Heaven and Earth, and he desires for us to sing praises to His name. Giving Him glory is not just a duty, it’s a wonderful privilege.
There isn’t a strong hold that cannot be broken by getting down on our knees, lifting our hands, and humbly coming before His throne.
In the story in Acts, we not only see the physical walls come down.. but we see the emotional ones as well. The prison guard was obviously not a believing man. He had no problem locking these two up.. but when he saw what happened, and felt the presence of The Lord fill that place, there was nothing else he could do but bow down. Through their praise and worship, this man’s eyes were opened, and he was finally able to see who The Lord Jehovah really is.
Praise and worship is able to break every chain, set every captive free, and heal every wound. The Lord has equipped us with these weapons for so many reasons.
Through it we will be able to overcome the obstacles in our lives, we will be able to witness to the unbelievers, and most of all, we will bring glory to the One who deserves it all.
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
– Hebrews 13:15
So to be clear, praising The Lord, and worshiping Him are not the same thing.
Praising God is joyfully telling Him, and everyone around us, how mighty, beautiful, and amazing He truly is.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
– Psalms 150:4
Praise can be such an amazing tool in witnessing because it shows the unbelievers the joy that fills those who follow The Lord. It allows them to understand who He is, and why we love Him so much.
Praise encourages others, but it also encourages ourselves as well. It brings deliverance, and rescues us out of the depths of discouragement.
Now, worship is a whole other ball game. Worship is intimate, quiet, one on one time with our Heavenly Father. It is a time of communion with God, where we can speak to Him, and He can speak to us.
It is when we bow before our God, and invite Him to surround us in His presence.
O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
– Psalms 95:6-7
Worship is such a precious time between us and our Father.
It is in worship where our strength is renewed, where His love can flow through us, and we become in complete unison with our God.
Don’t skip out on worship because you feel it is not important. Worshiping our Lord in spirit and in truth is when He can truly meet with us.
So as you can see, both praise and worship are extremely important, and both serve their own purpose.
We must never underestimate the power of either of these acts of love toward our Lord and Savior. Praise and worship can move mountains, restore what has been broken, and make us whole.
When you are facing a difficult time, or you just need to feel close to your God, praise Him, worship Him, let Him know you love Him.. I know He will meet you in it, and hide you in the shadow of His wings. (- Psalms 17:8)
I encourage you right now, seek The Lord. Turn on a worship song, or sing one on your own.. If you can’t think of a song, then just make one up, or open the book of Psalms and use some of King David’s words. The Lord isn’t picky, He doesn’t care if our voice is “beautiful”, or if our song rhymes.. He just wants us to come before Him with our hearts so full of love and adoration, and enter into His presence.
Always remember that even though the battle will keep on, you do not need to be afraid.. The Lord sees you.. and He will continue to fight for you. He has already given us all that we need to be able to stand strong through it all, but we must choose to not give up.
When life is weighing heavy on you.. bow down and worship Him. He has promised He will draw near to us, if we draw near to Him (James 4:8).
(P.S… if you still need convincing about how important it is.. just take a look at the trees. Even they lift up their branches in praise to The Lord!)