Earthquake! Unleashing the Power of Praise and Thanksgiving! Acts 16:22-34

Acts 16:22-34NASB

Paul and Silas Imprisoned

22 The crowd joined in an attack against them, and the chief magistrates tore their [a]robes off them and proceeded to order [b]them to be beaten with rods. 23 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 [c]and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the [d]stocks.

25 Now about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul called out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 And the jailer asked for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas; 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

The Jailer Converted

31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of God to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set [e]food before them, and was [f] overjoyed, since he had become a believer in God together with his whole household.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Allow me to ask the question:

Exactly what amount of praise is too much to give to a God who has delivered us from the bondage of sin and filthy habits? How much worship is over-the-top for a God whose own Son shed His blood so that we might have abundant life?

Some say that Praise is embarrassing or will turn people away from the church.

Yet those same people will spend 2 hours at a secular concert with their hands in the air, never once thinking that they might “turn off” other potential fans.

Some say preachers should never be loud and boisterous when they speak, but yet those same people cannot stand to hear a lifeless sportscaster or boring talk show host blather on about some obscure topic which has no connection to life.

The truth is this, the world is max hungry for the real thing: Genuine worship from genuine people, offered up to the only God who is worthy of our praise.

An old song from a secular artist said, “it might be the devil, or it might be The Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”

On that note, I would definitely have to say, even shout this at the top of my lungs: it might be for the world, or it might be for Jesus Christ, but you WILL lift your hands, you WILL lift your voice, you WILL move those happy little feet.

Church, we cannot make apologies for being exactly who we are in Christ.

Psalm 150 NASB

A Psalm of Praise.

150 [a]Praise [b]the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty [c]expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.

Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with tambourine and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flute.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Everything that has breath shall praise [d]the Lord.
[e]Praise [f]the Lord!

As Christians saved ONLY by the Charity and Grace of Almighty God, we are called to unleash the power of praise and thanksgiving every day of the year.

What power?

An Earthquake! reaching, breaching, to the very gates of the devil himself.

The power to defeat the devil, setting him on his heels and unlock victory!

Most people think and even believe that praise is what you do ONLY after you get what you are believing or praying for, but that simply isn’t true.

The devil wants to keep us from thinking about praise and thanksgiving while you and I are in the process of believing, being faith-filled and faithful because he knows too well it’s a vitally important key to our achieving breakthrough.

Remember when Paul and Silas were locked up in the bowels of a prison?

Things definitely looked pretty grim. Most people would be begging and pleading with God to get them out, or considering all the ways they’d served Him and wondering how they could possibly deserve what was happening.

Instead, Paul and Silas just sat there in that dank prison, in their chains and leg stocks and they “were praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25, NIV). 

The result?

“All the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” (verse 26). All the doors. Every chain. All because of praise and thanksgiving to God.

Do you and/or I need an Earthquake?

Do you and/or I need a breakthrough?

In bondage, max imprisoned to sin, do we need that prison door opened?

The “unbreakable” Chains of sin to come loose or just plain shattered apart?

When you learn what can be accomplished in the spirit realm, you will want to activate and then unleash the max power of praise and thanksgiving in your life every day, unleash the max power of praise and thanksgiving with these truths.

1. Praise and Thanksgiving Balance the Scale

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” –Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Notice how the Apostle Paul phrased Philippians 4:6 to say we are to fervently present all our requests to God “by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving.”

Quite often, we get so wrapped up in our needs and desires that our prayers can end up sounding like a long list of what we don’t have, what we want and what we need, without much time spent praising the One whom we are petitioning.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for God’s help, but we should also be taking the time to thank God for everything He has done and is doing for us.

Praise and worship and thanksgiving balance the scale in our prayer lives and can quite literally mean the difference between receiving and going without.

Does the fervency of our praise and worship equal the fervency of our prayers?

Is your and mine scale balanced? Don’t wait to offer praise and thanksgiving to God until things are just as you like them to be—praise Him in every situation,

Praise Him for who He is and what He’s done in your life.

Praise Him that you and me are saved, delivered, healed and headed for heaven.

Praise Him with everything we have and with everything we are because He is God, as our Creator, Restorer, Friend, Counselor, Comforter and Strong Tower.

There was, is and forever will be so much for everyone to be max thankful for!

Take time to thank Him each and every day.

Then, watch as power is released and overwhelmingly unleashed into your circumstances in a way that scared and begging prayers can never accomplish.

2. Praise and Thanksgiving Neutralize the Devil

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” –1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)

Ever wonder why the devil tries to get you to mumble, complain and grumble?

He knows it is a strength sapper, a faith drainer and a dream killer, a separator.

He knows it will keep you wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years, instead of arriving in your promised land in 11 days. (No! Nope! thank you!)

More importantly, he doesn’t want you to know this: Praise and thanksgiving neutralizes the attention we give to the devil – they are like kryptonite to him.

Praise and thanksgiving are powerful spiritual weapons that come from highly developed faith, and they are often the final step before receiving from God.

They are sure signs you have Proverbs 27:17 trust and faith in His Word, have eradicated all unbelief, and have fixed your mind and soul solely on His Word.

That is truly an extraordinarily powerful, Earthquake generating, place to be!

“Praise is much more than just music; it is a powerful, spiritual warfare tool. God never meant for you to fight your battles alone—Praise will shift the battle from you to God. Praise gives you strength and stops Satan in his tracks.”

How do praise and thanksgiving give you strength?

They build your faith and keep you thinking right.

They keep you and me on the right path towards the abundant life in Christ.

When you and I slip into wrong thinking, Satan can gain access to our lives.

Praise and thanksgiving are vital weapons in our warfare against Satan.

So, when you and I are standing in faith and things start to look opposite of what you and I are believing for, keep the highest praises of God on your lips.

Continue to praise Him for the answer.

Continue to worship Him for the answer.

Continue to pray to Him for God hears you and He IS definitely the ANSWER!

Don’t be moved, slowed down by circumstances; keep your eyes on God’s Word; pray, praise and thank Him as the “ant hill” mountain in front of you is moved.

Earthquakes from our Praise and Prayers will always send the devil packing!

Even physical weariness has to flee when it’s faced with real joy-filled praise.

The next time the devil tries to stifle your effectiveness, to drain you of the strength and wealth and victory that are yours in Jesus, turn him back with those powerful weapons – lift both of your hands higher an higher yet, your whole voice and your whole heart to God. Give Him praise and thanksgiving!

You an I ought to be shouting praises to God our whole way to work and also shouting our way back home and as we enter our homes to greet our family!

If there’s anything the devil can’t stand, it’s an Earthquake generated by praise.

If you and I have taken territory from the devil and he’s coming against us to get it back, this is not the time to sit down and whine about how things aren’t working out. It’s not the time to decide God has taken His hand off your life.

It IS time to get into the Word and get yourself re-anchored in God’s promises.

It’s time to keep those promises constantly before your eyes and in your heart.

It’s time to pray the prayer of faith and take your stand on the basis of His provision.

It is time to continue to do the things you know to do.

When Satan starts shaking your mountain, don’t retreat and run for cover. Speak to the mountain with the authority you have in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Then, when we are done with that, start to unleash praise and shout the victory!

3. Praise and Thanksgiving Bring God on the Scene

But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].–Psalm 22:3 (AMPC)

Do you ever feel like you really need God to show up? You’ve been fighting the good fight, but boy, are you getting tired! That’s OK—but giving up is not. God never loses a battle. And when you do things His way, you and me won’t either.

So, what should you do? Start praising. Praise when you don’t feel like it and keep praising because praise and thanksgiving bring God on the scene.

He inhabits the praises of His people!

You can praise your way to healing, praise your way to a financial breakthrough, praise your way out of any circumstance, any catastrophic event in your souls.

When there is trouble—unleashing praise and thanksgiving bring victory!

You can see an example of that in 2 Chronicles 20

where a multitude of forces was marching against Israel, leaving the army of Israel so outnumbered, they literally didn’t know what to do. So, they fasted and prayed, praised and worshiped until they had received a word from God.

“Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (verse 15, Amplified Bible, Classic Edition).

Do you know what they did in response to that word?

They put together a praise choir!

That’s right.

They appointed singers and praisers’, and sent them out in front of the army! 

And when that choir began to sing, the Word tells us that “the Lord set ambushments against the men…who had come against Judah, and they were [self-] slaughtered” (verse 22).

When it was all over, not one Israelite had fallen—and not one of their enemies had escaped.

What’s more,

when they came to take the spoil, they found so many cattle, goods, garments and other precious things, it took them three whole days to haul it all home.

Now, that’s an Earthquake generating victory!

And it all began with an Earthquake of praise.

Are you looking for that kind of victory today?

Then stand up and shout, “Glory!”

After all, you and I are in the same situation those Israelites were.

You and I have an army marching against us, but Jesus has already defeated it. He won that battle for you on Resurrection morning.

That is the kind of power you can have right now in your life.

If you are not familiar with praising God, or it makes you feel uncomfortable, ask God to show you how.

You can start by reading the Psalms aloud.

They speak of the great and mighty works of God.

They praise Him for His goodness, power and mercy.

God is faithful to perfect your praises!

Praise is not something you do when things are rosy.

God is always worthy of your praise.

The Bible says to offer the sacrifice of praise—that means when it feels like a tough thing to give.

More importantly, praise and thanksgiving are more than a pleasant song or a few uplifting words about God.

They do something.

They release the very presence of God Himself.

When the presence of God comes on the scene, your enemies are turned back.

Sickness and disease can’t stay on your body.

Poverty can’t stay in your house.

So, when you praise and worship and pray,

“enter into his gates WITH THANKSGIVING, and into his courts WITH PRAISE: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4, KJV). 

Praise and thanksgiving are integral parts of prayer.

They are you and God working together—your prayer and His power. 

You can pray amiss, but you can’t praise amiss.

Praise God.

Praise Him in the morning. Praise Him at noon. Praise Him at night.

If you and I have never max praised God in our life, then get started right now.

Praise Him for freedom.

Praise Him for healing and Calvary. Praise Him for the Name of Jesus.

You’ll even find that when you have a need, if you go to God and simply praise Him, you’ll get your answers while you’re thanking Him!

That’s why Philippians 4:6 tells us to mix thanksgiving in with our prayers. There are so many reasons to praise the Lord!

Now we know how to unleash the power of praise and thanksgiving, we can take these truths, put them in remembrance as we pray, engage in spiritual warfare. 

Never underestimate the importance of praise, worship and prayer.

It’s one of the most powerful spiritual weapons you have!

1 Corinthians 15:50-57 NASB

The Mystery of Resurrection

50 Now I say this, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does [a]the perishable inherit [b]the imperishable. 51 Behold, I am telling you a [c]mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised [d]imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this [e]perishable must put on [f]the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this [g]perishable puts on [h] the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. 55 Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

God will generate that Earthquake ….

God will project that Earthquake into the direction it needs to go.

God will get definite and decisive results from that Earthquake!

God will definitely achieve a decisive breakthrough ….

Miracles will definitely happen ….

My Miracle will definitely happen ….

Your Miracle will definitely happen ….

Because He has already done it for His own Son – The Tomb is still EMPTY!

And all praise and thanks be unto God, we have access to the throne of God.

Ephesians 2:17-22 NASB

17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the [a]saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the  cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy  [b] temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Father, Miracle-Worker, You raised Your Son from the grave. We have seen the empty tomb with our own eyes. We believe the witness of Your Scriptures, therefore I put my trust and my faith in You because I know that nothing is impossible with You. Just as You told Sarah about the coming birth of Isaac, I know You will make a way when there is no way. You raised Lazarus from the dead. You made the dry bones have flesh again and then made breath enter them. Father, You look out for Your people, and for that, I praise You. You are the same God today as You were then. I believe in the power of Your hand. I believe in Your intervention. My mind has silenced the critics. I cannot hear the non-believers. All I hear is You, my Father. What harm can come to me when I walk with You? Gloria! Alleluia! Amen.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Praise and Worship Him with our whole hearts too….

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