Praise is very easy to do when everything is going well and your heart is overflowing with joy. It is very hard to do when things aren’t going well and you don’t feel like praising Him. Yet it is at those times we least feel like it that we should be doing it, and that is when praise becomes the power that leads to victory.
In the Psalms, David would start off in despair, but as soon as he started praising God his perspective changed and he experienced God’s comfort and protection.
Think of Paul and Silas in jail (Acts 16). They had been beaten, thrown into prison, and had their feet fastened into stocks. They can’t have been very comfortable. They must have been in agony. The conditions of the jail would not have been pleasant. Their feet were secured so they were limited in movement to even try to get comfortable.
So what were they doing?
They were praying and singing hymns to God. The Bible also says, “and the prisoners were listening to them.”
Then an earthquake happens.
But what do you do when you can’t find the words to say, like David did, or even bring yourself to sing like Paul and Silas did?
That’s the time to put some Christian music on, and let someone else sing the words into your heart. Depending on how hurt or broken or down you are you might need to keep them playing for a while, either changing the albums over or having particular songs that speak to your situation playing over and over until you believe the words and can start singing them yourself.
My youngest sister was very ill last year and she said of the Collingsworth Family CD That Day is Coming “I basically just had that on repeat. I knew all the things they were singing about God, but during that time it just kept reminding me and encouraging me that God was in control and knew all about it.”
Another sister gave me that CD for Christmas, and I have basically done the same thing. I’ve had it on repeat. My health has taken a knock recently and things have not been going well.
To start with all I could do was let the words touch my heart, sometimes tears running down my cheeks. It’s now a month later and this morning I found myself humming the song Ever Faithful. Looking back I can see the gradual progression from not being able to sing, to singing along with the CD, to singing on my own.
When you praise God, it’s very hard for despair to set in. When praise is being lifted to God, the devil can’t stand it and can’t be there. So if you keep the praise going, the devil is going to have a hard time getting you down, and you will then be in the right place to see the moments when God comes through for you.
Maybe you are going through a rough time right now. Or maybe as a family you are having troubled times. Or maybe your children are having tough moments, be it with health or troubles at school. Then get some praise music on. If it’s on in your house, it will influence your children whether they were the ones who put it on or you were.
An interesting thing to note from Acts 16 was that the prisoners were listening to Paul and Silas sing and pray. And it must have spoken to them strongly because they didn’t escape when they had the chance!
If you are still praising even though you are hurting, that is going to be speaking a lot louder than any sermon from the pulpit to those around you, and especially your children.
One of the biggest legacies my parents have left us girls is that even when the going is tough we still pray, we still read the Bible, and we still praise – even if the praise is just putting a CD on and letting the worship flow through the home.
~ Wendy Sparkes ~