Embracing His Praises During Life Restrictions

By Pastor John Francis

Psalm 145:4 (The Passion Translation)

Generation after generation will declare more of your greatness and declare more of your glory.”

We are invited into the praise and adoration of our Father because He knows it is good and healthy for us, especially in seasons of difficulty.  During Mardi Gras Outreach in February this year, a spirit of praise and worship released expectation and anticipation from one generation to another.  That sound of praise brought to my remembrance the deep calling within my soul that I experienced during my young teenage days!  Only a few months later, here we are, faced with an unexpected and serious situation. It almost seems like a Paul and Silas in the prison sort of experience.  Who would have ever imagined what we are experiencing as a result of COVID-19?  Perhaps like the apostles, we can be encouraged through singing from our hearts, love songs to our heavenly Father and releasing those songs to others.  Perhaps some prisoners may find freedom and even some prison-keepers may find salvation during this time.

From a young age I was raised around worship and praise.  My father in those days was a “song leader” within our church.  As a young 13 year old boy, I remember having a moment when the question came into my mind, “Who are you going to praise?”  Would I follow my Father in heaven or would I be intimidated by my baseball playing friends?  My attraction to those friends and their natural talent attempted to block me from God’s call and keep my heart from praise.  The voice in my head cried out, “don’t lift your hands in praise!”  That day I won the inner battle of my heart and peer pressure was defeated.

Growing up in church life was a great and wonderful experience.  I found the call of God during those years to love God and love His people.  I so enjoyed hearing God’s people give Him praise for His nature and the things He accomplished in and through His people.  I loved the sound of intergenerational praise.  Praise taught me to have a strong mindset during difficult and trying seasons.  Praise was my weapon! May it be our weapon today as well.