The Loudest and Loftiest Praises
By Watchman Nee
Praise is the highest work carried out by God’s children. David said that he prayed to God three times a day (Ps. 55:17). Yet in another psalm, he said that he praised God seven times a day (Ps. 119:164). David was inspired by the Holy Spirit when he acknowledged the importance of praising. David touched God’s heart and offered up sacrifices of praise that were pleasing to God.
God uses many hardships, difficulties, and slanders to create praises in His people. He causes them to learn through difficult circumstances. The loudest praise comes very often from the ones who are passing through hardships.
God does not want men to praise Him only when they are on the mountaintop, surveying Canaan, the Promised Land. God desires much more to see His people writing psalms and praising Him when they “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Ps. 23:4).
Although you are in the midst of difficulties, He is still worthy to be praised.
Praise Brings Victory
But there is more. Praising is the way to overcome spiritual attacks. Satan is afraid of the prayers of God’s children; he flees whenever God’s children kneel down to pray. This is why he often attacks God’s children and frustrates them from praying.
But Satan’s greatest attacks are aimed at praise. The ultimate goal of Satan is to stop all praises to God. Prayer signifies spiritual warfare, but praise signifies spiritual victory.
Paul and Silas were praising God in the jail cell, and all the doors opened and the chains broke (Acts 16:19–34). The wounds on their bodies were not yet healed; their pain was not soothed. Their feet were in the stocks, and they were shut in an inner jail of the Roman Empire. But they saw that God was still sitting in the heavens; He had not changed at all. He was still worthy of their blessings.
When you pray, you are still in the midst of your situation. But when you praise, you soar above your situation. When you encounter unusual circumstances and problems and are bewildered and feel like collapsing, just remember one thing, “Why not praise?” God’s Spirit will operate in you, open all the doors, and break all the chains.
Let your loftiest praises burst forth to God, and you will surely withstand and overcome. When you praise, you find the way of victory opening wide before your eyes!
Praise in Persecution
Please remember that when you suffer great personal hardship and severe injustice, it is the time for you to praise. You should bow your head and say to the Lord, “I thank You. You are never wrong in what You do. I accept all these things from Your hands. I praise You.”
Victory has nothing to do with struggling with the flesh or striving to pardon others with one’s own strength. Victory comes when one bows his head and praises the Lord. When you praise the Lord this way, your spirit will soar above your problems; it will soar above your inner wounds. This was the pathway our Lord Jesus took when He was on earth. We should take the same way.
The more others try to put us down, the more we should rise up before the Lord and say, “I thank You and praise You!”
Praise before Understanding
The Lord is waiting for our praises. Nothing can glorify our God as praises can. One day, all the prayers, works, prophesying, and labor will be over. But on that day our praises will be more than today’s. Praise will last for eternity; it will never cease. When we reach heaven and arrive at our final home, our praises will swell even higher.
Today is still the time when we see in a mirror obscurely (1 Cor. 13:12). Although we can see a little of many things, we cannot understand the meaning behind them. We can only feel the pain of all the inward wounds and outward trials. This is why we do not praise.
Everything will be clear when we go before the Lord on that day. On that day we will see the Lord’s excellent will in every step of the Spirit’s discipline. On that day we will see why the Lord allowed all these things to happen to us. On that day we will bow our heads and say, “Lord, I was a fool because I did not praise you that day.”
For many things, the more knowledge we have, the greater our praises will be. We have a desire to praise the Lord because He is good (Ps. 25:8, 100:5). Today we have to believe that the Lord is good. He is never wrong, even though we cannot always understand what He is doing. If we believe, we will praise.
To praise is to glorify God. God is worthy of all glory. May God gain abundant praises from His children. WATCHMAN NEE
(Nee Shu-tsu, 1902-1972) was a second-generation Christian born in China. His rich ministry of teaching and writing was often defined by his life of suffering and sorrow. He was arrested in 1952 because of his faith in Christ and leadership in the Church. He died in prison in 1972. Before he was arrested, some 400 churches had been raised up in China because of his ministry. This article is excerpted from a writing entitled “Praise.”