There are some hard winters that stand out when looking back over the years. This year would be one that we won’t soon forget. The cold weather that continues incessantly has not only been wearing on machines and animals, it also doesn’t give us humans a break. We may feel cooped up, house bound, concerned about break downs, dealing with frozen pipes (house trailer owners will understand) and frozen water bowls (ranchers will understand), fearful about traveling in this long-standing deep freeze and simply, facing the cold day to day. Frustration, impatience, and irritability may come into play and our relationships may become tense and broken as we face this storm, if you want to call it that.
One night as I was feeling overwhelmed by the long, cold spell and hard things going on in my life, I decided to listen to some prayers/prophetic words that had been spoken over me in the past few years that I had saved on my smart phone. One of the words that stood out to me was “praise was my weapon.” It stirred me to purposely move into that frame of thought... turning my thoughts to praise, to thanksgiving, to worship, and to magnifying Jesus over the storm. There are times when our thoughts are not life-giving; that is when we can nip those thoughts in the bud and feed on some other thoughts that are better. The best way of attacking negative thoughts is by lifting up praise with our voice.
Music definitely sets the tone. I was at a funeral recently when a favorite song of the deceased was played. I looked around the room to see many tapping their toes and nodding their head to the music, bringing the memory of their friend close in heart.
Not only can music set the tone, it sets and shifts atmospheres. There is power in our praise! The Lord spoke to Jerry Savelle in a visitation: “The depth of your praise determines the magnitude of your breakthrough.” When darkness closes in, it can be suffocating. But the good news, praise dispels the darkness.
Have you heard of the little boy in Redding, CA who became deathly ill due to a devastating E. Coli Infection that had shut down his kidneys and was causing multiple life-threatening complications? Joel and Janie Taylor looked in the face of death, the darkness closing in around them. They had many people surround them in prayer and several came to the hospital to pray on Christmas Day. According to Faith Family America, “On Christmas day, Joel posted on Instagram about his faith for a Christmas miracle. Later that day, several prominent pastors and worship leaders showed up at the hospital at the same time, unbeknownst to each other. As they were praying and worshiping with Jaxon, the two-year-old began experiencing rapid improvement. Joel called it a "Christmas miracle" as his son began to talk and was soon able to eat.
Our praise invites the presence of God on the scene. Our praise dispels the darkness. Our praise elevates Jesus over the problem and reassures us of His ever-present help in times of trouble. On the darkest of nights when Jaxon didn’t look as though he’d pull through, the song “Raise a Hallelujah” was birthed by a close friend of Jaxon’s father. Find it on YouTube and let the words minister life to your spirit. Raise your voice with the words and let praise shift the atmosphere in your home. Don’t let cabin fever get the best of you. Let praise take you through!