Most of us are familiar with this scripture; from the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Psalm 8:2
There have been numerous times in my life when deliverance came through praise or worship. Praise and worship have been a part of my Christian walk since the beginning. I still recall the first article I ever read by a minister, it was on worship, it was by Kenneth Hagin, who is now with the Lord. That was my beginning of learning the power of praise and worship.
Throughout my life, as challenges have come and gone, I have found that worship played a vital part for me many times. I was thinking about one particular time today, I began to think about it after praying with someone on the phone who had lost a loved one. You see, the enemy will try to put things on you like depression, disappointment, and grief. But Jesus paid for all those things at the cross and we do not have to accept them.
When my Dad was lying in bed, dying of cancer, it shook my faith in a way I never imagined. I knew he had been diagnosed with cancer but I never imagined it would be able to take his life, I knew God was the healer and He would heal my Dad. On the last day of my Dad’s life, I sat by him and sang worship songs to him most of the day. It seemed to give him peace and allow him to rest. That day, worship got me through a really tough time.
The days following were a blur, I was still in shock because I was so convinced he would be healed. I went through the funeral plans and the funeral and really didn’t have time to think about it. The day after the funeral, grief began to get a hold on me. I am not saying it is bad to mourn someone we love, but we can’t allow the spirit of grief to attach itself to us. If we do, it is really hard to pull yourself out of it.
I was having a battle that day and then my sister called me and said ‘I knew if none of the rest of us had faith to see Daddy healed, I knew you had the faith to see him healed.’ That statement sent me for a tail spin, suddenly I felt like my faith or lack thereof had failed my sister, as well as me, and my Dad. The spirit of grief was quickly trying to get hold of me.
The next day was Sunday, Oh, I dreaded going to church and having people ask if I was okay and wanting to know what they could do. I did not want to go but I could feel the tug of the spirit of God urging me to go. So I went, I went in late so no one would talk to me and I sat at the back. Grief was so heavy on me that it was all I could do to keep from totally breaking down. By this time we were in praise and worship.
Then God began to speak to me. He said ‘am I still your God?’ And I said ‘yes, Lord.’ He said ‘am I still worthy of your praise?’ I said ‘yes, God.’ And He said ‘then go to the front and dance before Me.’ I said ‘God, not today, I love You, I will never walk away from You but I just can’t dance before You this day.’ He said ‘will you not obey Me in this?’ I said ‘yes, Lord.’
I slowly made my way to the front, I know everyone was thinking that I needed prayer, everyone was looking at me. Then I stopped at the altar and I began to dance before the Lord. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but only the beginning was hard. I could feel the spirit of grief losing its grip on me and I know in that moment I began to heal. As I danced before the Lord with all my might, He began to heal the hurt and grief had never been able to get a hold of me.
That moment I literally replaced the garment of heaviness with a garment of praise!
The Bible says that praise shuts the enemy up. Praise literally stops him in his tracks. You see, he was accusing my God and telling me that He had failed me, that He didn’t answer my prayers for my Dad, but he was wrong, God has never failed me and He will never fail you.
As I began to dance before God, in heaven and hell it spoke volumes. In heaven it said ‘now, here is someone who truly trusts God, who will worship Him no matter what.’ In hell it said ‘here is a person who you can never, ever steal her praise.’
These spirits that try to attach themselves to us, that come as grief, sadness, depression and disappointment, they have no place in us. And our response in those times will bring us through or put us under. What is your response?
I have found that when things are as bad as they can be, if you will just stop and praise God, He will change everything for you. God will stop everything to rescue someone who is praising or worshipping Him through a tough season.
One day, I was walking on the beach and the Lord ask me a question; He said ‘what is the ultimate form of praise?’ I didn’t reply and He said ‘trust.’ He went on to say ‘if you truly trust Me, you will praise and worship Me regardless of what is going on around you.’
This is truth. If you can continue to praise God in the midst of the storm,the storm, the enemy will stop, the word says so in Psalm 8:2.
You can’t praise God and worry or be depressed at the same time. If you find yourself depressed or discouraged, take off that garment of heaviness and put on a garment of praise. Turn up the music, turn it up loud and praise God. Praise Him for all He has done for you – Praise Him that you are still alive and well – Praise Him for the home you have – Praise Him for the loved ones in your life – and if you can think of no other reason to praise Him – Praise Him because He loved you enough to send His only son to die for you, when you least deserved it.
Praise will bring joy and peace. Praise will take you over when the enemy means to take you under. Praise will stop every enemy in his tracks. And praise will bring great deliverance, for you and all those around you. Remember Paul and Silas? They were in prison and had no reason to praise God, yet they praised God and their chains fell off. They praised God and the prison doors flew open.
Do you need some doors to fly open today? Do you need some chains to fall off today? Then stop whatever you are doing and praise God with all that is within you and watch doors open and chains be removed. Praise Him!