Praising Him Equates to Tangible Miracles
"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose." Acts 16:25-26
Praising God is the key to unlocking miracles in one’s life. I keep going back to Paul and Silas because I too want to praise God in all circumstances. I am reminded about what Paul said regarding learning to be content in all things, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in need or in want.
Thanks for Their Gifts
"I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living I plenty or in wants. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:10-13).
God grows us up spiritually in His majestic, not humanly understood, majestically methodical sequence, meaning that He grows us up spiritually as we mature in His knowledge, His grace, His power, and His love. Paul learned to be content in all things, and later, after being beaten and persecuted for His Name’s sake, Paul would receive the tenacious trust and dedication to praise Him, bruised, beaten, and in Prison. And yet, he still praised God! Then, because of God’s awesomeness, and I’m sure – God’s immense love for Paul and Silas, and their dedication to Him, God moved in a mighty way! We are the same way, when someone does something amazing for us, something sacrificial for us like helps us move, loans us money, pick up one of our children because we were stuck in traffic, makes a meal when we or someone we love has a surgery or is sick, stand in the gap for us in prayer…. don’t these acts of love from others make our hearts soar? They do mine. And I know that our acts of love and sacrifice for His Name’s sake make His heart soar too.
Shortly after a long week of family illnesses and tragedy, the same week I spilled coffee in my lap-top 3 days before a research paper was due, I was praising God. Why? Because praising God is all I could do at this point. Sure, I prayed – many times, that God would intervene, but at a certain point, I simply began to praise Him for who He is, regardless of my circumstances. It felt strange at first, but God was stretching my faith, teaching me to praise Him regardless of storms because He is the one, the Only One, who can calm the storms or give me intense peace in the midst of them. Either, way – I was praising Him. My praise escalated to the point where I was praising Him for a specific amount of money that I needed by a specific date. You see, right when I thought I had all the financial stuff worked out, my brakes went out, a child needed something else from the store for a school project, or for their lunch account, etc… And what I thought I had under control, I didn’t, etc. So, I said, “I praise You God for the $600 that will arrive by Saturday because You know what we need, and You know when we need it by. I praise You for it!” I just kept praising God all week.
Saturday night, after returning home from an away soccer game, I walked down the driveway; it was dark. One last time, I said, “I praise You God for the $600 that is in this mailbox.” I opened it, and yes, you guessed it. There was a check from my grandfather, congratulating me on my progress in the doctorate program, encouraging me with a little help, financially.”
I am reminded of Paul who said that he could do all things through Christ who strengthens him. I also realize that many times, we quote this final part of the entire scripture, not realizing that part of the key to unlocking miracles in one’s life (such as prison walls crumbling or money for ruined laptops), is learning to be content in all things, whether well fed or hungry, whether in need or in want, realizing that praising Him for Who He is, inspires Him to set things in motion on our behalf. Please highlight this next sentence: I also want to add that the more I spend time with Him in His Word, the more my will aligns with His will which means that my prayers and requests become more aligned with His Heart (rather than my fleshly desires). Then, when I ask for specific things, these requests have already gone through the filter of spending time in His Word. We can’t just start saying, “I praise You for me winning the lottery.” I want to emphasize that I am in no way saying that we can turn praise into manipulation. God will not be manipulated! He does, however, know our hearts. I am simply encouraging you to seek Him in prayer, continually praise Him for Who He is, despite your circumstances, and then watch as He works all things out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.