(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Praise When You You Feel You Can’t
By Zelda Dominguez
I recall two points in my life I’d like to share. I was a young mom and my health was failing. Doctors were saying tests were normal, yet I was becoming weaker. In my despair, two women from my church came to see me. They came to pray and see how they could help. They asked me something that at the time I thought was counterintuitive. “Do you ever worship,” she asked. I was so weak I could barely talk. I said, “I can’t.” She told me it’s important to worship and even if you can’t, just play and listen to worship music. Sing it in your head. Concentrate on the words and on who you are singing to like a prayer.
Romans 8:26-27 says, “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in, and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves.”
Another time my mother was in ICU with complications. She was on a ventilator, with sepsis. We chose not to look at the obvious, but look to the one who could help! We sang worship around her bed loud and openly. We turned our focus upon God’s victory, and our spirits were lifted. Praise is a spiritual weapon against the enemy.
Many times in the Bible it mentions praise and worship in the midst of a battle. In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat is outnumbered by three armies and the Lord encourages him saying that the battle is not his but God’s. Joshua sends out his worshippers first into the battle. The king appoints singers to walk ahead of the army, singing and praising God. In this way, they were marching in triumph instead of fear. At the very moment they began to sing, the Lord caused the three armies to start fighting among themselves until not a single one of the enemy had escaped.
In Acts 16:25, Paul and Silas were put in stocks and in prison. Let me remind you it was a dark, cold, damp dungeon and not like a prison today.
Acts 25:26 states, “Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymms to God… Suddenly a massive earthquake and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!”
In I Samuel 16, the spirit of the Lord had departed King Saul due to his rebellion against God, and he raged in torment. Saul’s servants suggested to have a musician come and play for him to soothe and calm him. We see in 1 Samuel 16:23 that “David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away.”
In Joshua chapter 6, Joshua was in a battle at Jericho. God instructs his people to march silently around the city for six days, but on the seventh day the Lord gives them victory. “When the people heard the rams horn, they shouted loudly, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city” (Joshua 6:20).
As we praise God for his presence love and grace, we are partnering with Him in ushering His presence into our hearts and our circumstances.
Psalm 22:3 says that God “inhabits the praises of His people.” So praising God is part of our battle strategy!
Does that seem odd to you? In the middle of a crisis, turning pain, sorrow to praise and thanking God? When you are going through a battle of any kind, let praise always be your first weapon of choice. Many times we are overcome by our circumstances, but may I encourage you to praise God even when you think you can’t. The Lord says for the spirit of heaviness, put on the garment of praise!