But thou art holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel.
Let praise go first
Anger, frustration, bitterness, murmuring, complaining, clamoring etc are different emotions and responses everyone of us can identify with. At other times stress, anxiety and depression tend to set in when we encounter difficult and challenging situations. Often these situations may be within our control but at other times they are not. But suffice it to say that everyone of us have a choice to make on how we respond to these untoward situations.
Paul and Silas in Acts 16:25-26 had a different attitude and response towards their untoward and unexpected circumstance. Acts 16:25-26 'And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed'. They had just been beaten and humiliated for no just cause. Instead of complaining and murmuring or even clamoring, they chose to pray and sing praises to God with fresh wounds on their backs and at the darkest moments of their life, career and ministry. But observe closely what they did - first they prayed but did not stop at praying, they sang praises to God.
Now notice the expression in our key passage today Psalms 22:3 'But thou art holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel'. God dwells in praise. God inhabits praises. This is what makes praise so special and wonderful: God dwells in our praises. Our genuine praise brings God down to the situation...our situation. For the scripture says 'O thou that inhabits the praises....'
You see, our prayers go through an angelic transaction according to the scriptures Revelation 8:3-4 'And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand'. (Notice, an angel holding a censer containing the prayers of the Saints...a kind of transaction going on). Daniel 10:11-13 is one example were there was a delay for 21 days and Daniel was waiting for the answer to his prayers. Furthermore, sometimes we can even pray amiss - James 4:3 'You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts'.
But it is not so with praise - God comes himself in response. Halleluyah! The Almighty God steps in Himself, with no other transaction required. This can only explain the supernatural that happened in Acts 16:26 - Suddenly there was an earthquake and every prison door was opened when God showed up. Psalms 114:2-4 further buttresses this - 'Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion. The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back. The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs'. Take a moment and imagine that! The sea saw Him and fled and the mountains saw Him and were flattened. Imagine what can happen to our difficult situations, storms and adversities when we respond in praise. 2 Chronicles 20:22 is another passage that highlights the wonders of praise. 'And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten'.
Are you anxious and depressed due to prevailing circumstances around you at the moment? Have you prayed, waited and still waiting for an answer. Let praise go first. Let praise come through your lips. Tune into praise unto the Almighty God and keep praising him. The situation will supernaturally turn around for your good.
Remain blessed and have a wonderful week.