“WORSHIP AND PRAISE AS A LIFESTYLE”
“At the sound of Mary’s greeting Elizabeth’s child leaped within her and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.” (Luke 1:41 NLT)
THE DIFFRENCE BETWEEN PRAISE AND WORSHIP
Recently I was stopped and asked the question – What is the difference between “Praise and Worship?” I begin to share with that person first that most people think that the fast songs were praise songs and the slow songs were worship songs- “Wrong”. Worship is somethingof the heart (a matter of the heart). It is a spiritual recognition of the greatness of God (John 4:24). Praise is thenatural result of worship, it is the external manifestation of Worship. It is declaring the greatness and goodness of God. Maybe we should stop having Praise and Worship teams and start having Worship and Praise teams. After all, if you aren’t worshipping Him, you can’t be giving Him praise.
SPIRITUAL STRONGHOLDS / GUARD YOUR HEART
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor. 10:4-5 (NIV) Proverbs 4:23- Guard your heart
When I read these words immediately, I saw that strongholds were the major stumbling blocks of Gods people. Paul was describing thoughts as strongholds. This week I began to study thoughtsin scripture. It became clear to me of Satans operation. In Acts chapter 8, when Peter and John had come to Samaria to minister, Simon the sorcerer tried to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit from Peter. Peter said to Simon, “Pray that the thoughtof your heart might be forgiven you.” Simon was obviously motivated by a thought. Where did that thought come from? It came from the enemy. Peter said in effect, “Satan has put a thought in your heart. You have accepted it as your own and acted upon it. Now pray that God would forgive you for that thought. The Bible says concerning the betrayal of Jesus, ”Now Satan, having put in the heart of Judas to betray Him”. Satan dropped a thought into the mind and heart of Judas. Judas bought that thought and it destroyed him. In the book of Matthew 15:18-19 (NIV) But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
PRAISE OUR WEAPON
The Apostle Pauls shared….”It is true that I am an ordinary, weak human being, but I don’t use human plansmethods to win my battles.  I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds”2 Cor. 10:3-4 (Living)
The Apostle Paul here states that we are engaged in warfare, and that we have weapons with which we must fight. As Paul states in Ephesians 6:12 our fight is not with fleshand blood, with people, but with the host of demons that work to defile, destroy. Harass, tempt and enslave mankind. Part of the good news in Christ is that now, not only can we resist the devil’s influence in our own lives, but also we can destroy his influence in the lives of others. God has given us mighty weapons to counter satanic influence and activity. But in order to be effective we must know what these weapons are, and how to use them effectively. The scripture above doesn’t tell us what our weapons are, but it does state what they do. They pull down strongholds.
So what are the weapons of our warfare? the weapon of praise, the word of God, the blood of Jesus, the power of your testimony and prayer. These are some of the weapons we can use against Satan’s attacks. Well, without a doubt, Praiseis a major weapon against Satan. Satan and demons just HATEhearing people praise God, especially when they do so from a pure heart. Praise releases the presence of God in a way that Satan cannot resist. If we would praise God more, we would have far less interference from demonic powers in our lives.
PRAISE SILENCES THE ENEMY
“You have taught children and nursing infantto give you praise. They silence your enemies who were seeking revenge” Psalm 8:2 (NLT)
The chief priests and the teachers of the Law became angry when they saw the wonderful things he was doing and the children shouting in the Temple, “Praise to David’s Son!”  So they asked Jesus, “Do you hear what they are saying?”
“Indeed I do,” answered Jesus. “Haven’t you ever read this scripture? ‘You have trained children and babies to offer perfect praise.’ ” Matthew 21:15-16 (TEV)
In the book of Matthew chapter 21 it is a time of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The people have welcomed Jesus as He comes from the Mt of Olives. He is riding on a donkey colt. Great multitudes have spread their garments in the way and others have cut down branches from the trees. Everyone is crying “Hosanna to the Son of David.” As he comes into the city, He goes to the temple and casts out the moneychangers, but the children have continued with Him and they are making muchnoise. Matthew 21:15 indicates that the chief priests and the scribes were very upset when they saw the children praising Him this way, and they came to Jesus and said, “Don’t you hear what they’re saying?” Jesus said yes haven’t you read, out of the mouths of children and infants you have perfected praise. Paul says, “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word to grow thereby.” Most of us are like spiritual babies. We seem to be easy prey for the Devil. How do we silence the Devil? Praise!! Him!! – THE SONG SAYS LET THE CHILDREN PRAISE HIM
SHUT THE DEVIL UP!
In Acts 16:16-26- when Paul and Silas sang praises they were delivered. When the Israelites shouted (a form of praise) the walls fell (Josh 6:1-20). When Gideon’s army shouted the battle was won. We have the command in Isaiah 61:3 to put on the garmentof praise instead of the spirit of heaviness. So if you don’t want to be depressed and you don’t want the enemy to come with his dark and evil thoughts- put on the garment of praise.
In the book of Psalms 8:3 and Matthew 21:15-16, it says from the mouth of babes you have perfected or ordained strength- Praise! The ordained strength of God’s people is praise. Why has God ordained our praise? Because of our enemies. A baby can cry! It is out of the inability to take care of themselves. Babies- the weakest- have a strong weapon to impose silence on the enemy. Why do we need to silence the enemy the Devil? Because he is accusing us all the time. We might ask God why don’t you silence the enemy? God replies: Because I’ve given you the weapon with which to do it. [Silence = to cause to fail, take away, put down.] As we lift our voices to God we defeat the power of Satan that would bring us into bondage.
The strength which God has ordained for us is Perfect Praise. Perfect Praisesilences the enemy and the avenger. Many of our problems would be solved if we could only get Satan and his demons to SHUT UP! They operate by injecting suggestions into our minds which seems harmless, but are rooted in unbelief and rebellion towards God. The suggestions come as if they were our own thought, when they are not at all! We lose battles when we believe and trust these demonic suggestions. These suggestions, thoughts and imaginations work to sow discouragement, confusion, fear, doubt andunbelief in our minds. PRAISE- be it spoken or sung to music, however works to SILENCEthe enemy. Perfect praise led by God’s Holy Spirit will completely silence the enemy. Praise stops the oppression of his evil thoughts. Here is one reason why we should consider how we might praise God better. There are many biblical ways whereby the people of God are exhorted to praise God. We can find these in the book of Psalms. shouting, dancing, singing, rejoicing, making music are all valid biblical ways to express praise to God.
GOD DWELLS IN THE PRAISES OF HIS PEOPLE
God dwells manifestly by His Spirit in the PRAISES OF HIS PEOPLE “But you are holy, enthroned on the praise of Israel”. (Psalm 22:3)
The Kingdom of God will manifest through the presence of the King, which is realized s when we praise Him. The manifest presence of God DRIVES DEMONS OUTof the places nears us where they can seek to gain influence over us. Let us therefore praise the Lord more than ever before!
On one occasion Jehoshophat, the King of Israel, came against a vast opposing army of many nations bent on Israel’s destruction (2 Chronicles 20). The King’s praisers were at the front lines of the army, people who PRAISED the LORD with singing saying, “Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever.”
The best what to understand what praise means is to examine the words used for praise in the Old Testament, and particularly in the Psalms. The first word for praise in the Hebrew is:
- Halal-(hallelujah) To be boastful- 15 seconds left in the football game and you are winning
- Yadah–To acknowledge in public. Lifting up of hands ( Jehosaphat –2 Chron 20:19-21)- they were singing His mercy
- Barak- To bless – (to kneel; to bow) “Let us kneel before the Lord our maker “ (Ps. 95:6) “Oh bless the Lord oh my soul and forget none of His benefits (Ps. 103:1-2)
- Zamar -To touch the strings –To sing praises ( “Praise the Lord with the harp” Psalms 33:2)
- Shabach- To shout- (“ Let them shout for joy… Psalms 35:27”)
- Towdah a sacrifice of praise (“I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving” Jonah 2:9)
- Tehillah—To sing exuberantly (joyously unrestrained- overflow) “Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises unto our King, sing praises.” Psalm 47:6
The important thing to notice about these verbs for praise in the Old Testament is that they are words of sound. Praise in the Old Testament always is accompanied with sound. It is vocal. It is public, and it is excited.
IF WE DON’T PRAISE HIM THE ROCKS WILL CRY OUT LUKE 19:40