Site hosted by Build your free website today!

The Benefits of Praise and Worship
Part 1

The following article was excerpted from a sermon given by Pastor Frank Bailey at his church, Victory Assembly, New Orleans and published in The Psalmist magazine in 1987. We find the truths spoken herein to be timeless.

Right now in the body of Christ there is an explosion taking place in the music realm. Through this new move of the Spirit, God wants us to learn how to receive from Him right in the midst of high praise and worship. During worship we can receive ministry, healing, direction and revelation from God, even deliverance from oppression.

God wants us to understand the power behind praise and worship so we can begin to reap His benefits. He wants us to know that there are many benefits that come from a life of praise and worship, and we are going to look briefly at a few of them.

The Second Coming
First of all, praise and worship are preparing the church and the world for the second coming of Jesus.

Look at Matthew 23:37-39: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

Do you understand what He was saying to these Pharisees? He had just come into Jerusalem that day on the donkey. All the people had gathered saying, "Hosanna, Hosanna, blessed is the King that comes in the name of the Lord." It means, "Save now, save now, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."

The people were worshiping and dancing, lifting their hands and throwing flowers and palm branches in front of Jesus. And do you know what the religious people were doing? Standing on the side with their noses in the air. Jesus said to them, "You're not going to see Me come back until you do what they did, until you say 'blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.'" God wants to see a restoration of praise and worship, and it has begun.

I still remember the day I accepted the Lord. I was out for a walk with the woman who eventually became my wife. God was dealing heavily in our lives and we were searching. As we walked we came across some young people who were singing with just a guitar, and the music attracted us. It was just someone playing the guitar singing a simple song about Jesus, but God lived in that music and He lived in the words that were coming out. It affected our lives. That music was drawing us into the Kingdom of God.

Our praise and worship music today is preparing the way for the Kingdom to come into this earth, preparing the way for Jesus to come again, not on a donkey this time but on a white horse. He's coming back to establish His Kingdom, ushered in with a song and the praise of the body of Christ. That's the first benefit of praise and worship.

The Glory of God
Now let's look at another. We're going to read II Chronicles 5, but while we are reading this, I want you to remember the secene in the upper room at Pentecost. One hundred twenty disciples were gathered together worshiping God, ministering to the Lord, and the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them. In II Chronicles, David's son, Solomon, had just finished building the temple where they were going to worship God. The Levites were bringing the ark of the covenant into the temple to institute a new system of praise and worship.

This is the scene that took place: "Then Solomon assembled to Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of the fathers' households of the sons of Israel, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion...and the Levites took up the ark...and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and kinsmen, clothed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, standing east of the altar, and with them one hundred and twenty priests blowing trumpets."

Do you remember that number from anywhere? There were 120 priests, the same number as the upper room experience. These were the Levites, but the 120 in the upper room were the new priests under a new covenant, washed in the blood of Jesus. You and I are a priesthood of believers, set apart to offer praises to God just like these priests did.

"...when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the Lord...." What does this remind you of? When they were all together in one place, they were of one accord. They made one sound. They were saying the same thing. "...and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the Lord saying 'He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,' then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God."

We have a new and better covenant based on better promises. If they had the glory cloud in the tabernacle and in the temple of Solomon, how much more should we have the glory and presence of God in our praise and worship? Do you know what is holding it back? The one sound, the one voice, the one heart. This is the only thing keeping us from going into the Glory further than we are.

It's like an ocean out there and we're only up to our ankles in the water, saying "Isn't this great?" We're dabbling in ankle-deep water, but one day we are going to get in and start swimming around. God wants to bring us into supernatural praise and worship. The second benefit of living a life of worship, all of us together, is that we begin to see the glory of God.

Experiencing the Presence of God
Now, let's look at Luke 24:50-53: "And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple, praising God."

This is a parallel passage to Acts 2 when they were all in the upper room. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He told them to go to Jerusalem and not to leave until they were filled with the Holy Ghost.

Luke 24:50-53 is another picture of those same ten days. They went from the upper room to the temple, from the temple to the upper room. They were meeting in the upper room and they were also going to the temple for prayer. They were doing what the Levites did, worshiping God. They were blessing God in the temple and ministering to Him, when the whole house was filled with the sound of a mighty rushing wind. They were filled with the glory of God. Tongues of fire appeared on each one and they all began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.

Praise and worship brought them right into the presence of God, but it wasn't just one little prayer meeting. It had been going on reguarly; it was a life of fasting and prayer and praise and worship. They were seeking after God with all their hearts in praise and worship. And the Lord began to move like the glory cloud. God wants to take each one of us another step from where we are in our praise and worship, so that we can begin to experience His Presence more fully.

A Special Anointing for a Special Task
Another benefit of praise and worship is found in II Kings 3:15. There are times when we get into situations and we need a special anointing from God to come upon us. This is what Elisha experienced.

He was called before the kings of Judah, Israel and Edom. They were ready to go to war against the Moabites and asked Elisha for a word from God. He was standing before the kings of three nations, and they were asking him what they should do. If you are ever in a situation where you are going to have to stand before someone to do a specific task and you don't feel like you are ready to do it, Elisha has a key for you. "'But now bring me a minstrel.' And it came about when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him (Elisha)."

Isn't that something? The musician played and the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha, and he got the word of the Lord to bring a direction to these three nations in their war against the Moabites. If there are times when you don't know what to do and you feel like you are beyond yourself, God can come and move in your life through praise and worship and music.

I remember being at a point like this in my own life when I was enrolled in Bible school. It was the middle of my last year and I thought I was going to quit. We were in Oregon, living in tents for two or three months at a time, planting trees. Unlike camping out in the summer, it was often 30 degrees with rain and sleet, and we were out planting trees all day long.

I got up one morning about 5:00. We were about ready to get in the truck and I thought, "I can't plant another tree. I can't climb another mountain. I'm just tired of it. I've had enough! I'm sick and tired of planting trees, walking around in the mud, sleeping in a tent, having to get up and chop fire wood so I don't freeze in the middle of the night, tired of that outhouse; I've had it!"

Have you ever felt like that? You harden your heart and you say, "I don't care what the will of God is, I'm going to do what I want to do." The problem is, many of us just go ahead and do what we want, just because we're so discouraged, so mad, so frustrated, we think we can't do any more.

I remember I walked by myself into the dark woods and started pouring my heart out to God and singing to Him. And He came in the midst of my struggle and my defeat through worship. He met me right where I was. My physical surroundings were no different. There was still the rain and sleet and mud, but something had changed inside of me. My attitude had changed. I went out of there saying, "I can make it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He's more than I need. He's going to sustain me in this situation."

When you learn to enter into a life of praise and worship even in your times of crisis, you'll find new strength. Get into the presence of the Lord through praise and worship, and let the hand of the Lord come mightily upon you like it came upon Elisha. Then you will have God's mind and God's Word for your situation.

[Home] [Recommended Reading] [Nuggets] [Links]