November 23, 2012
The Power of Praise Part 2
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth 
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD (Psalm 150:6, NIV).

Friend to Friend
Turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, strawberry salad, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and apple pie – the menu is set in stone, carved by the unwavering desires of my husband and children. One year, I tried to make a few creative changes but encountered resolute opposition. Realizing I was completely outnumbered, I surrendered those strange new recipes and brought out the old familiar ones. I learned a lesson. In the Southerland household, Thanksgiving dinner is a tradition that is not to be trifled with. I pray that the eternal lesson of giving thanks is a spiritual habit and everyday reality as well.   

Thanksgiving -- a time of praise and celebration – a time of remembering the faithfulness and provision of God. Thanksgiving is more than a holiday; it is obedience for every believer and praise at its best. More than spoken words, praise is the natural fruit of a heart wholly devoted to God and bound by a love relationship with Him. Praise is powerful and can alter life’s parameters to include trust and acceptance in the face of daily life. Praise not only pleases God, it changes our life perspective, filling each moment with faithful trust and fresh joy. 

1 Peter 1:7 “These have come so that your faith -- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire -- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

Praise transforms tragedy into triumph. Fanny Crosby was six years old when she lost her vision because a doctor applied the wrong medication to her eyes. She could have become bitter, but she chose instead to praise God. As a result, Fanny Crosby wrote the words to over 8,000 hymns, including “All the Way My Savior Leads Me”, “Blessed Assurance” and “To God Be the Glory”, beautiful songs of worship sung by millions of believers across the world.

Praise invites God to work. Praise is the conduit of peace in our life, inviting God to work. Stress and anxiety fade as peace floods the heart filled with praise. 

Psalm 68:4 “Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Cast up a highway for Him who rides through the deserts.”

Psalm 22:3 “But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.”

Don’t miss the life changing truth that we can enthrone God in every situation of our lives by praising Him. Praise transforms our everyday surroundings into His dwelling place. It is from that throne of praise that He dispenses healing and deliverance. Praise tunes us into His sovereignty and allows us to experience the power of His presence. 

Praise devastates Satan and his forces. I love this truth!The psalmist writes, “We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God” (Psalm 20: 5). Victory and praise go hand in hand. Satan knows that, but through continual prayer, God’s Word and faithful praise, we declare our trust in God to deliver us from anything the enemy brings our way. Praise is a frontal attack on doubt and fear. Even in the midst of Satan’s best effort, victory is ours when we praise Him.

During this holiday season, I encourage you to practice praise. Choose to praise Him and in doing so, you will experience God in a new way. 

Let’s Pray
Father, I praise you today for all that you have done in my life this year. You were faithful even when I was faithless. Your love pursued me even when I was unlovable. Your forgiveness covered my sin and freed me from its penalty. I give You thanks! In Jesus’s name, amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

  • Go over the praises recorded in your Joy Journal.
  • Beside each praise entry, write a scripture verse that expresses your thankfulness. 
  • Speak that verse aloud to God as your prayer of thanksgiving. 
  • What keeps you from praising God?
  • Examine your heart for any sin that would block the flow of joy in your life. What action do you need to take in order to deal with that sin?
  • Do you really believe that praising God will strengthen and prepare you for a crisis in your life? In what way(s)?

More from the Girlfriends
Need help learning how to live a life filled with praise? Check out Mary’s book, Escaping the Stress Trap, or her MP3 download, Celebrate Life.

Looking for a Bible Study? Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey and learn how to deal with the anger in your life. (Join now and have access to all lessons covered in 2012 including a study on the armor of God, how to tame your tongue and how to live a balanced life.) Be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

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