The Power of Praise

And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.
— 2 Chronicles 20:22 (ESV)

Do you praise God? Do you love to praise God? Are you enthusiastic about praising God? Do you know the power of praise? Do you know that great power is released when we praise God?

Singing and praising God have been a significant part of church worship throughout history. The practice dates to the Old Testament times. Temple worship included praising God. The duty of some Levites was to praise God through music and songs. The book of Psalms contains many psalms where the psalmists break out into exuberant praise with poetic words or songs. Worship has always included the element of praise.

Most Christians love to praise and worship through singing, but few are aware of the power of praise. If they knew, they would be more engaged and enthusiastic about it. I notice that most Christians are too reserved to express themselves when praising God. Praise is not praise without joy and exuberance.

The bible teaches about the power of praise.

When a vast army comprising of the Edomites, Ammonites and Moabites converged against the nation of Judah, King Jehoshaphat was alarmed. Immediately, he sought the LORD God for help. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast in the entire nation and gathered the leaders in his court to seek the face of God.

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel and spoke through him. It was an encouraging word – “You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you” (2 Chronicles 20:17). Twice the LORD said that they did not need to fight this battle because the LORD would fight for them. They could only wonder what God meant.

Praise is not praise without joy and exuberance.

God revealed a fascinating battle plan to his prophets. The army would still have to take up their positions for war. But instead of the elite troops, the singers and musicians were to take the lead. They were to go before the army singing praises to the LORD (2 Chronicles 20:21).

Who would fight a battle in this way? If you were a commander of a battalion, would you do that? People would think that you are crazy, or maybe you are too spiritual. But Jehoshaphat believed God and the word of the prophets. He took leadership of the situation and executed this unique battle strategy.

So, the singers and musicians went before the army singing, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.” They praised and proclaimed the goodness of God in the battlefield. It certainly looked funny and out of place. The enemies watching through their binoculars must be scratching their heads in bewilderment.

As they were praising God, something happened in the supernatural realm. God set an ambush on the enemies. The LORD sent confusion into their ranks and these three armies ended up slaughtering one another. Just as the LORD had said, they did not need to fight because the battle belonged to the LORD. That day, the people of God won a major victory without having to lift a single weapon against the enemies except the weapon called praise.

Praise is a weapon for spiritual warfare. Praise sets the atmosphere for God to arise and be enthroned in our midst (Psalms 22:3). Praise releases the power of God into our situations (Psalms 149:6-9).

In His wisdom, God has ordained praise to be a means of releasing His power. I believe there is a good reason for it. Whenever we face a difficult situation, our attention is often focused on the situation instead of God. That is why we get anxious and fearful. But praise focuses our attention on God instead of the problem. Praise causes us to focus on the bigness of the wisdom and power of God instead of the magnitude of the problem before us.

Praise steadies our faith and refocuses our trust in God when we are sailing through stormy waters. So, the next time you encounter a problem, do not grumble and complain. Instead, try praising God and tell God that you are putting your trust in Him to fight the battle for you.

Pastors Leslie & Adeline Chua