PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING 11-24-19

Praise and Thanksgiving

November 24, 2019

November 24 is a special day to me.  Back in 1983 it was the date Thanksgiving fell on, but I didn’t enjoy turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes that year.  I didn’t indulge in apple pie with piles upon piles of whipped cream.  And I didn’t gather around the table with family to give thanks to the Lord for all his blessings.  Instead, I woke up early that morning with labor pains three weeks before my due date.  And later that day my daughter, Erika, was born.  As I held her in my arms, I thanked God for my beautiful baby girl, so tiny and precious.  And every Thanksgiving since, I remember, and praise God.

Psalm 92:1 says, “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High.”  And while we all know that the Bible calls us to praise God, many think praise, like thanksgiving, is what you do after you get what you’re believing or praying for, but that isn’t true.  Andrew Wommack said, “Praise isn’t like the caboose that just follows what happens, but it’s more like the engine of a train that makes things happen.”  Praise and thanksgiving in all circumstances - in times of despair as well as times of blessing, in times of distress as well as times of joy, in times of turmoil as well as times of peace – are a powerful part of prayer.  It is not only a proclamation of our faith, it works to bolster our faith.  When we don’t understand why God has allowed some events in our life that have caused us grief, when we are angry at God for not answering our prayers in the way we wanted Him to, when can’t muster up the strength and the will to speak words of praise and thanksgiving; we need only turn our faces toward God and acknowledge Him in our hearts, admitting how we feel and asking Him to restore in us a spirit of praise and thanksgiving.  And then, as the Holy Spirit moves within us, the words will slowly come.  Then speak those words of praise.  Utter words of thanksgiving.  As you do, the spirits of darkness will be overcome, for there is nothing they hate more than hearing the name of the Lord be praised.  They want you to curse God, and when you praise Him instead, they cringe.  And the more you praise, they more they will back away.  And as they leave, your spirit will be refreshed, your faith renewed, and the peace that passes all understanding will be restored to you.

I would like to share with you the story behind the song, “Raise A Hallelujah” as testimony of this… 

“Jonathan and Melissa Helser of Bethel Music wrote it as a powerful declaration over the life of their friend’s son, Jaxon. Jaxon’s kidney got infected by E.coli virus and he had to have blood transfusions and go on dialysis. Because of this, Jaxon’s parents reached out to their community for prayer and support.  

A few days before Christmas, Jonathan received a text from their friends Joel and Janie Taylor that their son Jaxon was in a critical condition and they didn’t think the child would make it. 

“As soon as I got that text, I felt like this giant of unbelief stood in front of me,” Jonathan Helser said. “I thought Jaxon is going to die tonight - we’re not going to see the miracle.” 

But something indescribable happened to the Helsers, while they were praying for a miracle. A song suddenly came out of their mouths and they started to sing a powerful declaration against the giant Jaxon was facing.

I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies

I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief

I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody

I raise a hallelujah, heaven comes to fight for me

They made worship a powerful weapon against the forces of the enemy. Their hymn of praise became louder than unbelief. A lot of friends visited Jaxon and his sister Addie who was also diagnosed with the same infection. And they keep on declaring the song over them.

After medical treatment and countless prayers, the Taylors received a miracle from God. Jaxon and Addie were able to go home - their bodies in full health.  “God’s timing often doesn’t make sense until you look back to see that mountains were climbed and canyons were crossed on no strength of your own. In the battle for Jaxon’s life, the global church community rose up like a mighty army and joined us in prayer and worship all over the world. Our son was miraculously healed and today is perfectly healthy,” Joel said recalling his experience.

Indeed, there is great power behind praise and worship as we lift up our God. So never underestimate the power of your praises. Keep on worshipping even if you go through trials, because this is very often when you will experience God’s miracles.”  (From an article written by Kriza Jo L. Tanduyan and found at:  https://godtv.com/the-powerful-testimony-behind-bethel-musics-new-song-raise-a-hallelujah/ 

Are you going through trials in your life?  Are you looking for a miracle?  Don’t underestimate the power of prayer and of praise, both as individual believers and as a church.  Raise a hallelujah today!  Amen.

VIDEOS:

“Why God”  (Austin French)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv_Pf7bDZj4&list=RDiv_Pf7bDZj4&start_radio=1

“Raise a Hallelujah” (Bethel Music)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh8yoJ8FH3A