Thursday, May 26th, 2011
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 (NAS)
Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
2 Chronicles 20:22 (NKJV)
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called 'Today,' so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 3:13 (NAS)
Giving praise and glory to God is an absolute necessity. When we forget Who sits on the throne or pretend to sit there ourselves, we are heading for a fall. Praise allows us to humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God that He may exalt us at the proper time (see 1 Peter 5:6). Through our praise of Him, He gives us His power in a divine exchange.
Praising our brothers and sisters on this earth is also an absolute necessity. God uses us as His voice of encouragement to others. Not only can you brighten someone's day with a kind word, but you can literally save a life.
Small gestures bring hope and strength to carry on--even a smile, a caring word, a sincere compliment, an invitation to dinner, helping a stranger, standing by a friend, giving way in line, visiting the oppressed, befriending the shy kid, or mending a fence.
How often do we look the other way to avoid eye contact with a homeless, unattractive, or handicapped passerby? When we don't acknowledge someone's life as a gift from God, we make him or her invisible--of no value.
God tells us not only to encourage our brothers and sisters, but to do so 'Day after day, as long as it is called today.' In other words: don't procrastinate on good words and kind gestures. If we forget the power of praise, Satan makes his own power play upon the weak.
In our self-absorption, we unwittingly become his accomplices.
Godly praise gives people godly power to move forward.