Tag Archives: praise

Praise In The Valley

In 2 Chronicles 20, several armies joined together to attack Judah (lower Israel in the divided kingdom). King Jehoshaphat was terrified and not sure what to do when he heard the news. He immediately sent out word to all the towns to send people to Jerusalem to fast and pray. While they were assembled, he prayed aloud for everyone to hear. In verse 12, he prayed something that is key for all of us to pray in such situations. He said, “We do not know what to do, but we look to you for help” (GNT).

Then, the Spirit of the Lord came on a Levite named Jahaziel. He spoke several things to them, but the part I want to focus on comes from verse 15. He said, “The Lord says you must not be discouraged or be afraid… The battle depends on God, not on you.” That should offer relief to you and I. The battles we are facing don’t depend on our ability, but God’s. We don’t have to be afraid of what we are facing because our God is bigger and more powerful.

The Israelites had to show up to the battle in order to win it according to the prophesy. The same is true for us. To calm his men down, King Jehoshaphat told them, “Put your trust in the Lord your God, and you will stand your ground. Believe what His prophets tell you, and you will succeed.” Faith is more than just showing up for the battle. It’s trusting what God says despite what you see. If we want success, we have to trust His report more than what our eyes and others tell us.

What happened next is incredible and also a great lesson for us. The king ordered that they praise the Lord for the victory before the battle! When they began to praise, it threw the enemy into a panic and they defeated themselves. They renamed the valley “Baracah” which means the valley of praise. Praise is one of our most powerful weapons. We need to use it before our battles because God dwells in the praises of His people. God can turn your valley of fear and desperation to a valley of praise if you will look to Him, depend on His ability, show up for the battle, and praise Him.

Photo by Lukas Bornhauser on Unsplash

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Praise Break

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

I don’t know about you, but there are times I just want to spend hours praising God while listening to praise and worship music. I set my Pandora to Jesus Culture, and then let it play. I love how so many songs put words to how I feel and what I want to say to God. Right now, one of my favorites is “Great Are You Lord” by All Sons and Daughters. The part that resonates with me says, “It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only.” I find myself repeating just that phrase over and over.

I learned a long time ago how important it is to be in God’s presence, especially when I’m under attack. I can find peace and clarity in times of chaos by praising God. Psalm 22 tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. I’ve found that God shows up when I praise Him. I find that if I sing to Him, He gives me strength when I’m mentally and physically exhausted. I know i don’t sing in tune, but thankfully, He hears my heart over my pitch. He just enjoys it when we take the time to invite Him into our busy day and to praise Him.

Sometimes I feel like the psalmist in Psalm 106:2. He wrote, “Who can tell all the great things he has done? Who can praise him enough?” (GNT) Several years ago, Sonicflood sang a song called, “I Could Sing of your Love Forever”. I believe we could do that and still not be able to praise Him for all He’s done. I don’t know that we can praise Him enough. I do know that He is worthy of whatever praise we give Him because if He never did another thing for any one of us, He’s already done more for us than we deserve.

Today, I challenge you to think of things God has done for you and to praise Him for them. Make a list and watch it grow. We get so good at asking Him for things, but we rarely stop to thank Him when He does. Take time to praise God from your heart. If you don’t know what to say, search for your favorite worship song, play it, and sing along. Don’t worry if you don’t sound good to human ears. You aren’t signing for their approval. You are worshiping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When you do this, watch how your day changes. It’s amazing how praising God shifts our perspective and how His presence gives us peace.

Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash

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Praise God

In the early 1990’s, I signed up for a music subscription service. Each month, Maranatha! Music would send me a tape of praise and worship. All I had to do was mail them a check each month. It doesn’t take long to build up a collection that way. Their tapes were most of the music I had. I fell in love with Praise and Worship at a young age. I loved what it did for my soul. If i was having a rough day, I could pop in a tape, and my troubles would disappear for a while.

Music in and of itself is powerful, but Praise and Worship is on a whole other level. It’s not just singing, it’s your soul crying out to the creator of the universe. Each song is a prayer that magnifies Him. It refocuses our attention from ourselves to our God. It changes our perspective of our problems. I think that’s a big part of why the Psalms in the Bible are so popular. It’s not just David being honest that we relate to. It’s his prayers and praise that our soul longs to give to God.

Psalm 147:1 says, “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting” (ESV). I don’t care what your situation is, praise is fitting for it. It’s always the right time to praise God. Are you on top of the mountain? Praise God. Are you struggling in the valley? Praise God. Are you stressed out? Praise God. Did you get a raise? Praise God. It is good to praise God and to have a song of praise continually in your mouth.

If you’re not familiar with modern Praise and Worship, go to YouTube and search for Bethel Music, Hillsong, Kari Jobe, Matt Redman or just type, “Praise and Worship mix”. Let praise fill your heart and mouth today. You were created to give God praise. It’s not just something we should do for a few songs on Sunday morning at church. It should be a lifestyle that honors God. When you begin to live a life of praise, everything in your life will change because God inhabits the praises of His people.

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Be Thankful


I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT). It’s one of those verses we can quickly read over. Paul was wrapping up his letter and was writing several commands for these new believers. He was wanting them to take these instructions and ingrain them in their new lives early on so that they would become a habit long term. Each of the things he said were important, but this one always jumps out at me.

He said, “Be thankful in ALL circumstances.” He didn’t say we had to thank God for our circumstances, but that we need to find something to give thanks for. In my most difficult time. I was living minute to minute. I would watch the clock and tell myself, “If I can survive this minute, I can get through this problem.” When the minute would pass, I would thank God for helping me to survive that minute, then the process would start over. I didn’t thank God for the mess I was in. I thanked Him for keeping me alive in it.

Paul, the writer of Thessalonians, had gone through some pretty dark days himself. He learned that if you focus on your problem, despair sets in. If you focus on finding something to be thankful for, praise fills your heart. That’s how he and Silas could praise in prison. I’m sure it started out as a conversation on things to be thankful for that turned into singing praises to God. It was in those praises that God moved the earth and set them free from their chains.

Don’t miss that powerful truth. When you praise, God frees you from your chains. Praise comes from a heart that is thankful. A thankful heart comes from a person who looks for the good in every situation. If you’re breathing, you’ve got something to be thankful for. If you have a bed to sleep in, you’ve got something to be thankful for. Your world may be falling apart, but God has not abandoned you. Give thanks for that. When you learn to give thanks in all circumstances, you’ll learn to praise in all circumstances. 

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Pressure, Prayer and Praise


One day I was walking and deep in thought. I wasn’t paying attention to what was in front of me until I stepped on a ketchup packet. When I did, ketchup shot out of the package and went all over the glass of a shop. While wiping it off, I began to think how when pressure is applied to something, what’s inside comes out. I began to wonder what would come out of my mouth and actions, from the inside of me, if serious pressure was applied. 

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison because they were preaching the Gospel and had delivered a girl from demon possession. Verse 16 says, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them” (NLT). When pressure was applied, prayer and raise is what came out of them. The goal for each of us is to be so full of God that when pressure is applied, prayer and praise would come out of us.

Here are some verses on prayer and praise. 

1. Proclaim with me the Lord ‘s greatness; let us praise his name together! I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me; he freed me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:3-4 GNT

2. In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?
Psalms 118:5-6 NLT

3. In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 PETER 1:6-7 AMP

4. There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Romans 5:3-5 MSG

5. Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

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Praise Well


I’m a firm believer that God inhabits the praises of His people. In the hardest, darkest times of my life when I couldn’t feel God and needed Him most, I turned to praise. In those moments, I regained my strength, my focus, and my connection with God. Praise should be an integral part of every believers life. When we praise, we take our eyes off of how big our problem is, and see how big our God is. Our perspective changes and with it, our situation.

The great news is that we don’t have to be Grammy Award winning singers for God to appreciate our praise. Just like He does with our prayers, God looks at our heart more than our ability. That’s a good thing because if you’re like me, you may not have a great voice. I like to say, “I may not be able to sing well, but I can praise well!” You can too. Learning to praise well will invite God into whatever situation you’re in to stand with you.

Here are some Bible verses about praise. 

1. But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone’s shackles were unfastened.
Acts 16:25-26 AMPC

2. Hallelujah! It’s a good thing to sing praise to our God; praise is beautiful, praise is fitting.
Psalm 147:1 MSG

3. Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.
James 5:13 NLT

4. Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct one another with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts.
Colossians 3:16 GNT

5. Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)
Psalm 150:6 AMPC

6. I bless GOD every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise.
Psalm 34:1 MSG

7. Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. 
Psalms 68:19 NLT

8. Sing a new song to the Lord; sing his praise, all the world! Praise him, you that sail the sea; praise him, all creatures of the sea! Sing, distant lands and all who live there!
Isaiah 42:10 GNT

9. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him!
Exodus 15:2 NLT

10. Take my side, God—I’m getting kicked around, stomped on every day. Not a day goes by but somebody beats me up; They make it their duty to beat me up. When I get really afraid I come to you in trust. I’m proud to praise God; fearless now, I trust in God. What can mere mortals do?
Psalm 56:1-4 MSG

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Praise Break


I don’t know about you, but there are times I just want to spend hours praising God while listening to praise and worship music. I set my Pandora to Bethel, and then let it play. I love how so many songs put words to how I feel and what I want to say to God. Right now, one of my favorites is “Great Are You Lord” by All Sons and Daughters. The part that resonates with me says, “It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only.” I find myself repeating just that phrase over and over.

I learned a long time ago how important it is to be in God’s presence, especially when I’m under attack. I can find peace and clarity in times of chaos by praising God. Psalm 22 tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. I’ve found that God shows up when I praise Him. I find that if I sing to Him, He gives me strength when I’m mentally and physically exhausted. I know I don’t sing in tune, but thankfully, He hears my heart over my pitch. He just enjoys it when we take the time to invite Him into our busy day and to praise Him.

Sometimes I feel like the psalmist in Psalm 106:2. He wrote, “Who can tell all the great things he has done? Who can praise him enough?” (GNT) Several years ago, Sonicflood sang a song called, “I Could Sing of your Love Forever”. I believe we could do that and still not be able to praise Him for all He’s done. I don’t know that we can praise Him enough. I do know that He is worthy of whatever praise we give Him because if He never did another thing for any one of us, He’s already done more for us than we deserve.

Today, I challenge you to think of things God has done for you and to praise Him for them. Make a list and watch it grow. We get so good at asking Him for things, but we rarely stop to thank Him when He does. Take time to praise God from your heart. If you don’t know what to say, search for your favorite worship song, play it, and sing along. Don’t worry if you don’t sound good to human ears. You aren’t signing for their approval. You are worshiping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When you do this, watch how your day changes. It’s amazing how praising God shifts our perspective and how His presence gives us peace.

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