Shaking Things Up

Don’t wait. Not a minute. Not a second. Instead, praise God now. If you and I wait to praise God until after something earthshaking and amazing happens, we’ve got the wrong order. Praise comes first. Doubt that?

Consider the classic praise story in the Bible–this scenario (in Acts 16) where Paul and Silas, bound in chains in the dungeon of a jail, their bodies bruised and bloodied by their jailers, still lifted their voices  to praise God.

And what an odd sound. Praise in a jail. Sung by two beaten, bloodied prisoners. It’s not logical. But as the book of Acts records, as they praised God, the earth shook. “And the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!” Praise is power, indeed. But praise comes first.

When we’re bound up by some situation, in the midst of that mess, it’s hard to remember that we should praise God first. Not after it’s all cleaned up. But, while it’s happening. That is the proper order of praise.

In fact, the word praise (which in Latin means “prize”) shares a root with the Latin word for preposition. As we recall from grammar lessons at school, a preposition is the word that comes before the main thing. Such words hold the “before” position–the preposition–setting up the main topic. In our spiritual lives, praise sits in the same place. It holds the preposition, setting up God’s power so it can follow, moving in our hearts and lives.

And no prison chains can tie down that power. So don’t wait for your chains to fall or your prison walls to crumble. Praise God first. Right now. Despite your circumstances. Praise Him for being God. For His mercy. For His deliverance. For His hope. For His blessing. For His empowering Spirit. Then stand back. Your prison walls are coming down! (Content taken from One Year God’s Great Blessings Devotional by Patricia Raybon. Copyright © 2011. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.)

Today’s blog was written by Patricia Raybon, my friend and an award-winning, bestselling author. I love her writing, her teachings and that fact we both got our journalism degrees from THE Ohio State University (we even had the same favorite prof, “Mad Martha”!) You can connect with Patricia  on Facebook at or on her website And if you love daily inspiration, check out her One Year God’s Great Blessings Devotional–one of my favorites!

When you have about 15 minutes to praise God, please listen to the music video below of our church’s worship pastor Eric Sumpter and the worship band. There are three songs with the words on the screen so you can sing along. I promise both God –and you–will be blessed.

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