I pray for a lot of things. Health, safety, provision--these are just a few that top the list. But if I had to qualify the majority of my prayer requests into a single word, that word would be "strength." Strength of body to perform the tasks that need to be accomplished. Strength of character to do what's right no matter the situation. Strength of mind to make wise and timely decisions. And strength of faith to trust God in all things. I need strength. I crave it. And recently, I heard a Biblical formula for gaining such strength.
Psalm 22:3 tells us, But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
God inhabits the praises of His people, so it's safe to say that praise brings about God's manifest presence, right? Okay, then let's move on to the next step.
Psalm 16:11 says, Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Praise brings about God's manifest presence, and in His presence, there is fullness of joy. So, praise = presence = joy. Still with me? Good, let's take it one more step.
The last phrase of Nehemiah 8:10 says, For the joy of the Lord is your strength. According to that, joy = strength. So, if we put it all together, we see that praise brings about God's presence which, in turn, brings about joy which brings about strength. Praise = Presence = Joy = Strength.
Want strength? It all begins with praise. Whether we need physical, mental, emotional or spiritual strength, the formula is the same. It all starts with praise. Daily worship of the Lord opens doors that nothing else can open. If we're seeking to feel God's nearness, we need only praise Him. If we long for more joy, praise can accomplish that too.
We often talk about how powerful prayer is, and I completely agree. But I think we have a tendency to lose sight of how powerful praise can be in our lives. Prayer is talking to God. Praise is thanking Him. Prayer is asking for God to move. Praise is honoring Him for how He has already moved or how He's going to. In many ways, the two go hand in hand.
Looking for strength to make it through the day? Well, now you know where to begin. Let the praises roll!