This is an excerpt from my book, A Call to Intercessory Prayer, which is to be released by the end of the year.
The Garment of Praise
There may be those who always have a desire to praise the Lord, but I haven’t met them. Sometimes when we are told to praise, we may wonder why or feel overburdened by the circumstances of life. Regardless of your situation you can choose to praise the Lord because of who He is.
One woman began by praising God for the first 20 minutes of her day, simply because she had promised her friend that she would do it. She was surprized by the results, and began to look for inventive ways to praise the Lord each and every day. Praise changed her, not the circumstances; that would come later.
There was a time when I had grown weary in well-doing. It seemed that the very life of God was drained from me. Early one Sunday I was trying to prepare myself for the morning service when the phone rang. It was my mom, saying, “Germaine, I received today’s church bulletin in the mail. Now do what it says to do-praise!” I promised her that I would pray the prayer of commitment, “To Rejoice in the Lord,” from my book, Prayers That Avail Much, Volume 1.
Believe me, I did not feel like praying; I did not feel like ministering to anyone; and I certainly did not feel like praising. Very feebly I began to rejoice in the Lord. As I continued, I became stronger and stronger. As I began swinging my arms, shouting and dancing all over my kitchen, the spirit of heaviness left and I was clothed in the garment of praise.
You have to have a made-up mind to praise and worship God. The enemy would like to silence you-to keep you quiet. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger (Ps. 8:2 NIV).
The word praise also means strength, according to the King James Version. The psalmist David was not quiet in his praise to his God. Joyous people in the Scriptures were not silent people; they made a joyful noise unto the Rock of their salvation (Ps. 95:1). O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph (Ps. 47:1 KJV). Again and again David admonished the people of his day, Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises (Ps. 47:6 KJV). In Psalm 34:1 KJV he wrote, I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
If you will praise the Lord, the Holy Spirit will give you new songs which you have never heard before. The Holy Spirit, your Teacher, will bring New Testament Scriptures into focus as you speak to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord (Eph. 5:19 KJV).
Then, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). If it’s in your heart, it will come out your mouth. Release the glad heart and joyous spirit that God has given you. Worshiping in spirit and in truth applies pressure to the rivers of living water that flow out of your innermost being like a mighty life stream.
Don’t wait until you feel like it before you begin praising the Lord. Do it because the Bible says to and you will find that you have joined a heavenly host who are praising God in the highest.
Begin your day by proclaiming praises unto your Father: “Father, this is the day that You have made. I will rejoice and be glad in it! The spirit of rejoicing, joy and laughter are my heritage. I will praise You with joyful lips. I am always filled and stimulated by the Holy Spirit. Where Your Spirit is, Lord, there is liberty-emancipation from bondage, freedom. I walk in that liberty.
“I speak out in psalms and hymns and make melody with all my heart to You, Lord. My happy heart is a good medicine and my cheerful mind works healing. Your joy is my strength, Lord. Therefore, I can count it all joy, all strength, when I encounter tests or trials of any sort because I am strong in You, Lord, and in the power of Your might.
“I have the victory in the name of Jesus. Satan is under Jesus’ feet. I will not be moved by adverse circumstances.”1
Most of the time entering into a time of intercessory prayer follows praise and worship to God. (Not always though; we can’t be dogmatic about these things.) It is the Holy Spirit who leads us and helps us pray effectively. He knows where the next attack will take place, and He strengthens us when we take our stand against the opposing forces of darkness.
We must get ourselves into a position to hear from the Holy Spirit who is always present. I believe that He is constantly attempting to lead us. The reason we have to spend time in praise and worship is so we can quiet our minds and position ourselves to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying.
Copyright © Germaine Copeland 2007
Germaine Copeland is the author of the best selling book series, Prayers That Avail Much. She has written scriptural prayers for the family. Read your Bible, pray and attend church where you can soak up the love and faith of God. You will receive emotional healing, experience spiritual growth and become more intimately acquainted with your Heavenly Father, and your relationships will grow stronger.