PRAISE comes from the Latin word “pretium”, meaning price. Prize is a variation of this word. Originally it meant “to set a great price on”. So when we praise God, we are placing a great value on Him and His acts.
1. PRAISE HONOURS GOD
In Luke 11:2 Jesus taught us to begin prayer with praise in order to honour and glorify God. Psalm 29:1-2 tells us to give God the glory that is due Him. Praise and worship helps us to honour God for who He is, and for His greatness. “And He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.”
2. PRAISE HELPS US FOCUS ON GOD
Psalm 22:3 says that God inhabits the praises of His people. As we praise Him we raise up a throne or structure for Him to fill (2 Chronicles 5:13). Praise sensitises us to God’s presence, and helps us take our focus off of ourselves and onto Him. “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” – Psalm 22:3
3. PRAISE BREAKS BRINGS RELEASE
In Acts 16:25-26 Paul and Silas praised God and the doors in the prison they were in were opened and they escaped. Praise lifts us out of oppression, and praising God also helps us out of our self-centred ways. “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. – Acts 16:25-26
4. PRAISE IS A “GARMENT” THAT COVERS & PROTECTS
“… A garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” – Isaiah 61:3 A garment is used to cover and protect from the elements. Praise & worship God is meant to be a covering of protection for us from the spiritual forces of evil and our enemy. Praise & worship God helps to protect us from despair, discouragement, heaviness, oppression, bitterness, complaining, and ungratefulness.
5. PRAISE IS A WEAPON!
Praise is a spiritual weapon. The power of praise is shown throughout the word of God. One of the best examples is shown in 2 Chronicles 20.
Praise helps us to focus on God and realise our need for Him, and thus turn the battle over to Him. When we do this, God will then bring Victory. This makes Praise a great weapon in Spiritual Battles.
“Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD.” – 2 Chronicles 20:1-4
“ thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” – 2 Chronicles 20:15
Jehoshaphat’s response to this word of promise is to fall on his face to the ground and worship. Verse 18: “Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord.”
After this great time of worship in response to God’s word, the people make ready to meet the enemy. They rise early the next morning and head out into the wilderness. And as they go, Jehoshaphat commands them to trust God’s promise. Verse 20: “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.”
Verse 21: “And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy array, as they went before the army, and say, ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.’” But the frontline troops are not charioteers or swordsmen. They are singers. Jehoshaphat aims to conquer with a choir. God had said that the battle was his to fight. So what better way for Israel to meet the enemy than with songs of victory in the front ranks.
When God tells us that the battle is his and that the victory is sure, the way we should meet the enemy is with songs of thanks for it says in verse 22, “And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.” First Moab and Ammon turn against Mount Seir. Then they turn against each other. When it’s all over the defeat is so great it takes three days for Jehoshaphat and his people to carry away the spoil.
From this story I would draw out the following conclusion: spiritual warfare should be carried out with song. Singing is mentioned 238 times in 193 verses in the Bible. Playing of musical accompaniment 16 times. Instruments of music 16 times. Melodic worship and song is an integral part of the worship of Jehovah. It is our melody, our song of praise that is our weapon! In verse 19 when all the people fell down to worship, the choir stood up to sing. And in verse 21 when the people went out to meet the enemy, the choir went before them with songs of victory. God has appointed the use of spiritual songs as an effective weapon against his archenemy Satan.
It is no wonder that Satan hates the songs of God’s people. He does his best to keep a church from being a singing church. And he does his best to keep you from being a singing person. Why? Satan cannot endure the spiritual songs of the saints. You can fight him with your melody.
Praising God is very effective in helping us to better focus on God in our quiet time with Him and in our daily lives. Praise helps us to focus on God and thus have better intimate communication with Him and to hear God’s voice. Hearing God’s voice is the most important part of our fellowship time with God. Praise also helps us to know God in real and personal ways, rather than just know about God. But Praise is also a spiritual weapon that is very effective in pushing back the forces of evil, bringing disarray to our enemies and winning the spiritual battles of life. Our weapon is our melody.
“And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me; and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord” – Psalm 27:6