It was Father’s Day weekend. I had just finished reading the book Anything by Jennie Allen as my husband drove us to visit family for the weekend.
I cannot remember every word of my prayer that day in the car, but it was the first time I said to the Lord, “God, I want anything you have for me, for us.” At that moment nothing felt different. Jesus did not lay out my life’s plan all at once after I breathed those words, but that prayer would slowly change everything.
I was at church recently when the worship team played a familiar song. The message ministered to me deeply for a season. The lyrics became a declaration that I spoke over my family. For years I professed it, word for word, as our family vision statement.
During those years as I whispered this song over my family, I did not fully realize the power in my declaration, the power at work in my prayer.
Prayer initiates change in our lives, even though we may not see immediate evidence of the process beginning. The process of change begins with the prayer. Although it is not yet tangible, nor does it make sense, the prayer is at work through the process I am walking out.
The process postures our lives, our attitudes, and our hearts to receive the promises of God.
Part of my “anything prayer” was a desire that my entire family would one day serve in ministry together. At the time of the prayer, it seemed like a far cry. None of us was serving in ministry.
What I have discovered is that although the time between the prayer and the praise is often long and difficult, the power of God is at work in the process. Not a day is wasted, not a day in vain, and God is never a day late.
Two years ago we moved 1000 miles away from Florida to pursue the continuation of that whispered prayer. My husband now serves alongside an incredible ministry here in Northern Kentucky.
When that song played that Sunday morning, gratitude washed over me and a smile filled my face. In a split second, God showed me my whispered prayer and how HE was at work. All those years I was knee-deep in the process of waiting on His promises, He was faithfully working.
In Psalm 145:3-4, the psalmist David declares:
“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” (NIV)
This verse encourages us to tell your friend, your momma, your sister, your neighbor what God has done in your life. This magnifies His mighty works and activates what I like to call “the power of praise.”
It’s the inviting light we shine on a dark and hurting world when we share our stories and declare His faithfulness. We testify that we have come through the storm, the struggle, the season of waiting, and we still stand firm on the Word of God.
This, my friends, is the power of praise! And it’s MIGHTY powerful!
Those that know me know that I am OBSESSED, with a capital O, with a little scripture found in Revelation. It’s a powerful scripture with a powerful truth.
“They triumphed over him by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11 (NIV)
Want to know why I love this scripture so much?
The blood of the lamb has been freely given to us, so we can just check that one off our to-do list.
Yet, the word of our testimony is our power tool in hand to defeat the enemy. Who doesn’t want to kick devil butt?!
The Scripture says that they (that’s us) triumphed over him (the devil) by the combination of the word of our testimony and the blood of Jesus.
This powerful combination of word and testimony allows us to trample and triumph over our greatest enemy.
Take a moment to shout “Amen” to that one!
If that isn’t enough, the word of our testimony testifies to those mighty acts and wondrous works. It’s the “this little light of mine” that shines forth to the next generation or simply to the girl next door revealing that there is something to this God I know.
Maybe the God I serve holds power greater than I can wrap my mind around. I read amazed at the promises that fill up this book He wrote, a book that testifies chapter after chapter to His glory, His faithfulness, His loving-kindness (and the list goes on).
Maybe our prayers are more than mere words. Maybe they align and activate themselves once they have been whispered out, cried out, and shouted out. He hears our prayers and begins the process of change.
Maybe our process isn’t merely waiting, but instead, we desire to see a mighty God at work, orchestrating all the pieces to fit together in just the right timing.
Maybe our praise is more than gratitude to a faithful God. Perhaps it serves as our greatest testimony, our greatest story.
It is a beautiful, sometimes halting, process to move from prayer to praise, yet it is a process held by a powerful and faithful God.
As you meditate on Psalm 145:4-5 this week, be encouraged that our mighty God serves with great power, faithfulness, and loving-kindness.
I pray you find that your declarations rise like sweet incense to a God more faithful than the rising sun, a God whose love and grace we simply cannot outrun.