The Power of Praise

April 20, 2023  - By Katie Gutierrez

The Power of Praise - an article from Well-Watered Women

I laid awake at night, doubt floating around my mind. I had recently learned that several Christian leaders I respected had sinned. It was shocking to me, and left me questioning my own areas of influence. Because people who appeared so strong in the faith could fail, I became afraid of my own weakness. 

During many nights of despair, God graciously reminded me of Scripture like “my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9) and “he who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thess. 5:24). I believed the Word of God in my mind but struggled to embrace it with my heart, so my emotions remained in turmoil. So I started a spiritual discipline: I praised God for the truth that my mind knew and my heart struggled to believe. When I began to praise the Lord, his peace flooded my soul. 

Since then, praising God for his character and his work has strengthened my soul, encouraged my heart, reminded me of truth, and dispelled lies, doubts, and discouragement. 

Praise Strengthens the Soul

Praise is a powerful spiritual discipline given to us by the Lord. But unfortunately, it may be one of the most neglected exercises in the Christian life. We know it’s important to pray, read our Bibles, and gather with other believers, but very rarely do we encourage one another to praise Jesus. When we neglect to regularly praise the Lord, we miss out on a powerful spiritual strength he has given us. 

Stories demonstrating the power of praise are everywhere. The Bible is full of examples of God intervening on behalf of his people when they praise him. Church history also abounds with these stories. The act of worshiping strengthens our hearts as God works within us.

Praise Strengthens Us to Overcome

One of the most incredible stories about the power of praise took place when Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, recorded in 2 Chronicles. Three nations gathered together for battle against Judah. In fear, the king called the people together to seek God. As they prayed and fasted, God spoke, saying, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.…You will not need to fight in this battle" (2 Chron. 20:15b, 17a). 

When the people heard God’s promise, they believed and rejoiced. Next, Jehoshaphat did something that might sound a bit crazy. Instead of organizing his army into ranks, he organized what I like to call praise warriors. 

“They went before the army, and sa[id], ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.’ And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men […] who had come against Judah, so that they were routed” (2 Chron. 20:21b–22, emphasis mine).

Regardless of what we walk through, we can exercise our faith by praising God for his character and his promises—promises to never leave us or forsake us and to supply all the grace we need. 

We do not praise God to change our circumstances. We praise him because Jesus is worthy of our praise. Regardless of how long we endure our trials or if we experience victory, God will always supply the grace and strength to walk victoriously through them. 

Praise Strengthens Us to Remain Faithful

Dmitri, the pastor of a house church in the Soviet Union, spent seventeen years in prison for his faith.1 Every morning he stood in his cell and sang a song of praise to God. Whenever he found a scrap of paper, he wrote all the Scripture and hymn lyrics as would fit on that paper. Next, he stuck the paper up high on a wet metal pipe in his cell as an offering of praise to God. Guards frequently beat him and other prisoners frequently mocked him because of these actions, yet nothing could stop Dmitri from praising the Lord.

One day, the guards came to his cell to execute him. As they escorted Dmitri out of his cell, the entire prison—filled with hundreds of hardened criminals—stood and sang the song he had sung every morning to praise the Lord.

It was so powerful that the guards looked at him in terror and asked, “Who are you?”

He replied, “I am a child of God, and his name is Jesus the Messiah.”

The praises of God’s children are powerful. Sometimes, when we praise God, he delivers us. Other times, he transforms our prison into a temple, where God’s glory is known and his ultimate victory over sin and death is declared. Either way, Christ is victorious.

Jesus is Worthy of Our Praise

Since those nights of questioning, I've developed the spiritual muscle of praising the Lord when I’m tempted to despair or when discouragement knocks on my soul. When it's tempting to stop praying for someone after years of seeing no change, I praise the Lord that he hears his people and find myself encouraged to persist in prayer.

When we choose to praise God for who he is and what he has promised, we declare with all of heaven that our God is greater than armies, prison walls, discouragement, and fear. We remind ourselves that Jesus defeated sin and death and reigns on high. 

Let us daily remember these truths about our God and, in faith, choose to open our mouths and declare his praises.

The Power of Praise - an article from Well-Watered Women - quote

Meet the Author

Katie Gutierrez is a new wife who serves as a worship leader at her local church and as a blog writer for Wholehearted. She lives in a city near the Canadian Rocky Mountains where you can find her soaking up the outdoors during summer and curled up with a cup of coffee and a book during winter. On her blog, Katie is passionate about sharing the goodness and faithfulness of Jesus and the joy of the gospel.

  1. Dmitri’s full story is published in Nik Ripken’s book, The Insanity of Obedience.

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  1. […] *This article was originally published on Well Watered Woman. […]

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