“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
// Kenneth W. Hagin
Have you ever met a Christian who always seems to be full of joy and gladness—someone who always exhibits the joy of the Lord both in the good times and the bad? A believer who is always full of joy has learned the secret of living a life of praise to God.
God’s praises must continually be in your mouth if you want to have joy and walk in victory. If you don’t have joy, you probably have not learned the valuable secret of praising God. Our praise life is closely connected to our faith life, because praise is an expression of faith. Walking by faith is something we are to do every day, not just occasionally. Second Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” In other words, we are to always walk in the light of God’s Word no matter what our circumstances may be. Praise should be our lifestyle.
Many Christians do not fully understand the place praise holds in receiving answers to prayer. They pray, yet fail to receive answers. Oftentimes, they’re not missing it in their praying, their believing, or in their confession of God’s Word. They’re missing it because they don’t understand that the secret of a victorious life comes through praise! Prayer has to be mixed with faith and praise in order to produce results.
What is praise? Praising God is expressing gratitude to Him. It’s thanking Him for what He has done and is doing in your life. You don’t have to see your answer with your physical eyes to praise God in faith. But if you will praise Him because you believe He is working on your behalf according to His Word, it won’t be long before His Word comes to pass in your life!
Praise is also expressed with enthusiasm and exuberance. I have never seen a child receive a new toy he or she really wanted and without any emotion say, “Thank you.” No, that child will usually jump up and down excitedly and exclaim, “It’s just what I wanted! Thank you!” That is the way we should act when we believe God has heard and answered our prayers!
I once read a story about a missionary in China who had been experiencing defeat in his life instead of victory. He took a period of time to pray and seek God about it. He had decided that he would not stop praying until he got his answer. For many days, he sought God earnestly. Finally, the missionary traveled to a mission station, where he could pray without distractions. As he began praying, pacing the floor, he happened to look up at a sign on the wall that read, “Try praise.” Suddenly it dawned on him that while prayer is important, he had to add praise to his prayers to see his prayers come to fruition.
Prayer asks, but praise takes. Praise is an expression of faith, and faith in God’s Word produces results! Your prayers must be watered with praise before they will bear fruit. Yes, prayer has its place, and it’s important to have faith in God’s Word. But praise is an act of faith. It exclaims with gratitude and thanksgiving, “Thank you, Father, for the answer! It’s mine—I have it now!”
Often, a lack of praise to God is the only thing that keeps people from receiving answers to their prayers. The praise life of many Christians has been neglected, except when they go to church. It’s easy to shout and praise and thank God in a service where other believers are praising God and everyone is excited about the things of God. But the best time for praising God—for thanking Him that He has heard and answered your prayers—is in the midst of the storm when all the circumstances suggest you don’t have your answer. If you never waver in your confession of the Word, and continually praise God in the midst of adversity, you can’t help but win in every situation. You can walk in complete victory through praise!
The Christian who knows how to praise God regardless of the circumstances is a Christian who really knows God. Circumstances can’t hurt you when you’re really believing God. Jesus has already won the battle and has obtained victory for you in His death, burial, and resurrection. And He knows how to see you through any test or trail. The Bible says, “Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ” (2 Cor. 2:14). We will always come out on the other side of any test or trail victorious if we continue to believe God’s Word and praise Him.
We may not always feel like praising God, but we shouldn’t wait to praise Him until we feel like it. God is always worthy of our praise. This is why the Bible talks about sacrificing praise to God.
15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
When the tests and trials of life try to discourage you, you can begin to say by faith, “By Jesus’ stripes I am healed (1 Peter 2:24). God is supplying all of my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19). Thank you, Lord. My needs are met, and healing is mine. Hallelujah!” That is what it means to offer the sacrifice of praise to God. And we are to do this continually, no matter what our circumstances may be.
If we know what God’s Word says, we can praise Him because we know the victory is ours. So determine to continually praise God for what He has done and for what He is doing in your life. There is a secret to having the joy of the Lord and experiencing victory. The secret is living a life of continual praise to God for His goodness and for His faithfulness to His Word.
[Editor’s Note: This article was adapted from a Word of Faith article previously published in May 1992.]