Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Power of Praise

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.” As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 2 Chronicles 20:21-22

The rollercoaster of health issues for Peter continued throughout the fall. We’d discovered the blockage of SMA Syndrome, placed a PICC line, used TPN to successfully regain weight, and transitioned back onto formula feeds. However, some occasional nausea persisted. Our medical team advised switching from Peter’s current Gtube to a GJ tube which would bypass any remaining affect from the SMA blockage.

The first time we attempted the GJ placement Peter demonstrated incredible bravery. The procedure caused intense pain and failed to bypass the blockage. Peter tolerated the procedure but it broke my heart to see his grimace and hear his cries. I dreaded this second attempt. I did not want Peter in pain. I held some uncertainty over the necessity of the procedure as well. I struggled to fight the fears which crouched close to my heart.

The day of the procedure I again held Peter’s hands as the doctor began. As I did, I prayed. I begged God to be merciful. I prayed the wire would immediately turn the right direction. I asked that the procedure go precisely right with no interference or problems. Then I prayed it all again. I almost began a third time when I remembered the context of today’s verse.

In 2 Chronicles 20 a large army came against Jehoshaphat, king over Judah. He resolved to inquire of God for direction and help. In prayer he acknowledged his nation’s inability to face the battle or knowledge of what to do, and declared his dependence on God. The day of the battle, “Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.’ As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.“ Jehoshaphat focused on God’s great power and holiness and left the battle to God.

I also remembered Jesus comments in Matthew 6 about prayer. “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” I know that the issue in prayer is not to direct God on what to do but come into alignment with what he is already doing. So combining the two scriptures together, I stopped asking and chose to trust. I decided to show my trust through praise. Like King Jehoshaphat, I would send forth worship and praise and leave the work to God.

My prayers became statements of truth. I declared God’s goodness. I affirmed his love for Peter, for me, for our family. I confirmed my dependence on him. I acknowledged his control. I proclaimed his power, his majesty, his worthiness. I worshipped.

Only a few moments had passed yet a major change occurred. I glanced up at the screen just in time to see the wire enter and immediately turn the necessary direction. The procedure went quickly, successfully and painlessly.

That day showed me not how what I did affected God, but how who God was should affect me. God knows my needs. He desires to meet them. I can trust his provision because of his goodness, his faithful love, and his sovereign, all-surpassing power. When I remember who God is, I can stay in peace and confidence no matter what circumstances I face.

How about you? Does your situation need a reminder of the God you serve who fights on your behalf? Worship. It changes you which changes your situation. Begin your battle today with praise.

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