Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Prayer and praise

““O give thanks to the Lord. Call upon His name. Let the people know what He has done.” 1 Chronicles 16:8 NLV

God has given us some very unlikely weapons to fight the spiritual battles we face each day. On the surface, they don't look like they would accomplish much since they are only made up of words. But God has ordained them - they do work and are very powerful.

Prayer is one. It loosens the power of God so he can fight for and with us against the hard things that come against us.Because of prayer, God is able to do the impossible to save us out of difficult situations. Other times, prayer changes us somehow so that even if the circumstances in our lives don't change, we do. We can bear them and we can trust God to work the situations out for our good.

The other weapon is prayer's twin: praise. Praise is an extremely personal weapon in that it always affects us at the heart level. When we praise, our attitudes change - despair becomes hope; fear turns into trust.

This morning I read the testimony of a trafficking victim who was herded into shipping containers with several other women. She lived this way for three years but she still was able to retain her faith. How? She learned to sing praise songs to God in her darkest hours. And she taught the other women to sing with her.

Another prisoner was kept chained in a tiny, dark cell. He said the only part of his body not in chains was his mouth. Yet, he kept his faith strong by singing songs of praise to God. Somehow, another inmate heard him through a small hole in the stone wall and learned to sing the songs of praise. By the time he was released, 8 inmates had learned to sing praises to the Lord.

What ever kind of "prison" we live in today, we have the weapon of praise to heal, sustain and encourage us. The good news is that as we vocalize our praises, others are healed, sustained and encouraged too.

Thank you Lord for the twin weapons of prayer and praise. Teach us to wield them well! Amen.

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