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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Power of Praise

There is power in praise. Praise lifted to the Lord has the ability to tear down strongholds, to break chains that bind, and to defeat enemies. The Word of God provides some wonderful examples of just how powerful praise can be.

When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land, they knew there would be battles to be fought. The first battle that they needed to fight was against the people of Jericho, a walled city. In order to secure victory, Joshua and the people of Israel would need to somehow get through the walls of that city. God had promised them victory. The stronghold would be torn down, but it would not be through human efforts. The walls of Jericho, the stronghold standing between the Israelites and victory, were torn down by a shout of praise (Joshua 6:20).

When Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, the Ammonites, Moabites, and other enemies of Judah came to battle against Jehoshaphat. The people of Judah were greatly outnumbered by their enemies and defeat seemed likely. But God had other plans for His people. Jehoshaphat was told that the battle he was about to fight was not his. The battle belonged to the Lord. Believing that God would secure victory, in one of the most unusual strategies of war, Jehoshaphat placed singers ahead of the army. As they headed out to meet the enemy, the singers lifted a song of praise to God. God then created confusion among the enemies of Judah and they destroyed one another, giving victory to Judah. The enemies of God's people were defeated through praise (2 Chronicles 20:21-22).

When Paul and Silas were arrested while spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and thrown into prison after having been severely beaten, their situation looked bleak. But they did not allow their circumstances to keep them from giving praise to God. While shackled in their prison cell, Paul and Silas lifted their voices in praise. Just as praise tore down the walls of Jericho and defeated the enemies of Judah, the praise lifted by Paul and Silas caused an earthquake and Paul and Silas were freed from the chains that bound them (Acts 16:25-26).

Praise is a powerful weapon. When we offer praise to our God, He is enthroned in that praise. And when God is enthroned in the praises of His people, the enemy is defeated, strongholds in our lives are torn down, and we are freed from the chains that bind us.

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