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PRAISE AND PRAYER
by Milford Bowen

 

Praise and prayer together bring effective results. Philippians 4:6 says. ". . . in everything by prayer . . . and thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." "Thanksgiving" to God involves praising Him. 

God lives in praise, and whenever we praise Him He makes Himself known. Psalm 22:3: "But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel." It's no wonder that the psalmist said in chapter 34, verse 1, "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth." Whatever comes from the mouth comes because of the abundance in our heart. God's will is that we should praise Him. "In everything give thanks (praise Him) for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (I Thessalonians 5:18). Prayer becomes more than asking for things. It is communicating with God because of what He has done and who He is. 

Even when circumstances seem negative and depressing, we can still give praise to God for the assurance that He has the solution. As sons of God we are conditioned by God's Word. We are not conditioned by circumstances and the things of the world. 

Hebrews 13:15: "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name." 

Why do we give praise to God? We give praise to God because He requires it. But we also give praise to God because it brings positive results to our lives. In Acts 2:47 it is recorded that the early Christians were "Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Unbelievers will come to God and be born again. 

Our mind and body can be healed when we give praise to God. When we are sick and depressed we can confidently claim, "Praise God, by his stripes I am (already) healed." (See I Peter 2:24.) We can praise God when we need solutions to financial problems, marriage problems, health problems -- any problem. Solutions will be provided. 

We cannot praise God and at the same time be negative or condemn ourselves or others. We cannot praise God and be depressed at the same time. It's impossible. I challenge you to try it the next time you feel negative or depressed. 

Paul and Silas were in prison according to Acts 16. Verse 25 says they praised God. The result was a miraculous event that set them free. Besides that, the jailer and his family were born again. In II Chronicles 20 there is a record of Israel facing their enemy. In verse 17 God said to not worry, it was not their battle, but His. Verse 21 tells how they sang and praised God. Verse 22 tells how it happened. The enemy destroyed each other. 

What God did for the Israelites, His servants, He can do, and more, for us, His children. 

"O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together" (Psalm 34:3). --meb



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