As we pray for strength, guidance, healing, and divine intervention in all areas of our lives, we have to remember to praise the Lord. We have to give thanks to the Lord for everything he has done for us. Sometimes we are so consumed with what we need from God that we forget to praise him for what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will do in our lives.
Praise strengthens our prayers, and it provides answers to our prayers. We all remember when Paul and Silas were imprisoned in a Roman jail, and instead of complaining about being locked up as innocent men, they began to pray and praise the Lord (Acts 16:25-40). They were put in prison because they rebuked a spirit of divination from a young girl. After this happened the men who were taking advantage of this young girl could no longer make money off her. They managed to get Paul and Silas arrested. While in jail, they mixed prayer with praise. Some say Silas sang, and Paul prayed. Regardless who took on which role, the effects were felt throughout the prison. The prayers and praise caused an earthquake. The shackles fell off the men. They did not take the opportunity to escape; they remained. As a result, the prison guard received salvation, and so did his entire household.
We all have been in the position of Paul and Silas, shackled, imprisoned for something we did right and for those things that we keep doing wrong. Paul and Silas show us that with prayer and praise, we can be delivered. When our praise is mixed with prayer, we can expect an earthquake to happen. We can expect shackles to be loosened from our hands and feet. When we begin to praise God, even in the midst of our prison-like situations, chains will break in our lives. When we feel like our finances have us in chains, we should pray and praise. When we feel like bad relationships have us in shackles, we should pray and praise. When pain and hurts have us in handcuffs, we should pray and praise. Prayer and praise can weaken anything that has us bound from metal chains to people to spirits. Prayer mixed with praise can break every chain. The reason why an earthquake happened when the praises and prayers went up is because these acts of worship cannot be constrained. Sometimes we feel like there is no way to escape our situations. But if we mix the prayer and the praise together, we will witnesses a great shaking in our circumstances, and God will deliver us.
Someone suggested to me to mix lemonade with my cranberry juice. I was quite hesitant, because I thought it would not taste right, but I did it anyway. The lemonade took my cranberry juice to another level. If we want to go to another level in our faith and power in God, we must praise the Lord, and give him thanks, along with our prayers.