The Dungeon and Praise!

There is power when we praise God and there are benefits when we praise God. As I was reading my bible this morning I read the story of Paul and Silas. Because they cast a demon out of a girl they got beaten and where thrown in a dungeon without being given a trial!!! If you want to talk about injustice that is a perfect picture of injustice. It was not fair but it happened. (Acts 16)
We have things happen to us as well but how do you respond to them? Paul and Silas praised God in the midst of their pain. Were they discouraged, maybe?! But they made a decision to praise God. They were in a dungeon but they praised and thanked God. (Acts 16:25)
You may feel like you are in a dungeon but praise God. I don’t think Paul and Silas were praising and thanking God for the dungeon. We don’t thank God for the trouble we face but we praise Him in the midst of the trouble. There is a difference!

As they praised the Lord we read how the prison doors opened but that is not the amazing thing about the story. The amazing part was seeing the jailer give his life to Christ, him and his whole family!!
(Acts 16:28-34)
And that is the power of praise. Getting out was not the miracle. A family being saved was and who knows who else was touched. When we praise God it is not for ourselves. When we live a lifestyle of praising God, He will use us to bring people to His kingdom. I don’t know how that works but it does. It is a mystery….!
When we praise God it gets our attention off ourselves and gets us to focus outwardly. God has a bigger purpose for praise than just delivering us!!
God will teach us to praise Him in the dungeon so He can show Himself strong on our behalf but to also save others.

It is a mystery indeed. So let us praise God in the dungeon in faith that He will deliver us because He will. But also know as you praise Him a bigger purpose is being accomplished.

Psalm 69:30-32 says, 
I will praise the name of God with a song and will magnify Him with thanksgiving, 
And it will please the Lord better than an ox or a bullock that has horns and hoofs. 
The humble shall see it and be glad; you who seek God, inquiring for and requiring Him [as your first need], let your hearts revive and live!


Is Your Life Balanced?

There needs to be a balance in our lives. A lot of Christians like to get stuck in one truth and that’s all they ever see. Some of us get stuck in prosperity or giving, or faith forgetting the other important things that make up Christianity. We need to strike a balance in our walk. It is not one or the other thing but it is all those things that make us successful.

 At bible school the lecturer made a very interesting observation. He said a lot of Christians pray and pray but don’t praise. He then told a true story about a traveling pastor who was sick. Every where this pastor went he asked people to pray for him but nothing changed. His sickness remained. One day the pastor went before God and asked Him why he was still sick despite the countless prayers being offered for him. God showed him a vision of measuring scales. On one scale was praise and the other was prayer. The scale which was prayer was filled and it far outweighed praise. God then told him that the reason nothing was happening was because there was no praise in his life. The man began praising God everyday and within no time he was healed of his sickness completely!!! That is the power of prayer and praise. The two go hand in hand.

Let me show you this principle in action in scripture. In Acts 16:23-36 we read about Paul and Silas.

In verse 25 up to 26 it reads, “but about the middle of the night, Paul and Silas were making prayers and songs to God in the hearing of the prisoners;
And suddenly there was an earth-shock, so that the base of the prison was moved; and all the doors came open, and everyone’s chains came off.
Notice, they prayed first but only as they praised God did the deliverance come through. A lot of the time we have prayed and prayed but with no answer while God was waiting for us to praise Him! There is power in prayer, no doubt but there is also power in thanksgiving and praise.

For another example we are going to look at 2 Chronicles 20. In verse 2 we read how Jehoshaphat got some disturbing news about a great army coming towards him. In his fear, he prayed to God for help. But notice that he didn’t get his deliverance then. The Lord answered his prayer but he didn’t get his manifestation then.  The manifestation only came when he praised God! The enemy still advanced after he prayed but it is only when he praised that the deliverance came.

It is the same with us. We should pray, we NEED to pray but it should be coupled with praise! Is your life balanced? Is your scale balanced? This is for all of us. I know that my scale is not balanced. My praise and thanksgiving is very low but I want it to increase!

Praise is acting like we have the answer – David Divelbiss

I have been so challenged by this word, I hope you have too. Let us practice praying and praising. Our praise is an act of faith towards God. It is our praise to God that releases our faith! Prayer is powerful, praise is powerful but together you become unstoppable!

God bless