Often times it is we who hinder God’s solution to our problems through disobedience to God and unbelief. So what then can we do to release God’s power over our circumstances? Merlin Carothers is a well know Christian author who has written numerous books on praise. He shared in his book “Prison to Praise” that he believes that the very act of praise to God releases God’s power to have sway over our circumstances and allows Him to change the circumstances should it be His will. He believes praise is the highest form of communion with God. Further, I believe also that when we pray fervently and we submit to God and obey His will, it is the act of obedience and faith in God that permits God to bring victory over our circumstances.
Attitude is everything! It is up to us to be victorious. Should I grumble and complain, or should I fail to seek God morning, noontime and evening, it would be easy for me to lose sight of what God has for me and for His victory in my life. In Psalm 55:17 it says, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” God hears our cries, although we may not think so sometimes. There are times when I wake up in the morning and I just don’t feel like praying or thanking God. It is a struggle for me to focus on anything but my daily activities or my circumstances. God, however, sees my heart and reminds me that He is the one who needs to control my life, every situation and activity that confronts me. Some would believe that it is the power within us alone to be victorious, but on the contrary, it must be God’s Holy Spirit that works within us to bring victory over our circumstances, our feelings and emotions. I have tried too many times to go it alone, and have too many times failed. This is where the power of praise and thanksgiving, and prayer are so important to the victory.
God commands us to always love and obey Him, and always rejoice in and praise Him. I might also add that the Bible says to “always pray”. Therefore, we can assume that if we are praying always and giving thanks always to God, then the two are married to each other and it is in combination that the two will see results. Did you know that the word “always” is mentioned 75 times in the Bible? Many of those times it is used in the context of obedience or in giving thanks. In Ephesians 5:20 it says to “always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It doesn’t say sometimes, it says always. But you say, “Why should I thank Him when I am struggling or down and out”? Simple, God commands it. It does not say that I should praise Him and thank Him only when I feel like it. It does not say that I should give thanks only when I am cheerful or happy. It does not say that I should give thanks only when I am high and lifted up. It does not say that I should give thanks only when things are going my way. It says “always give thanks for everything”. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Merlin Carothers in his book “Prison to Praise” said “Often the prayer of praise is done in sheer teeth-gritting willpower; yet when we persist in it, somehow the power of God is released into us and into the situation. At first in a trickle perhaps, but later in a growing stream that finally floods us and washes away the old hurts and scars.” This is our recipe for victory over our circumstances for “if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. “ (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).
Copyright 2013 by Bill Hutzel
RELATED VERSES IN THE BIBLE
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”
Ephesians 5:20 “always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
Colossians 4:2 “continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving”
Philippians 4:6 “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”
Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Ephesians 6:18 “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication”