"Praise is a weapon for the battlefield," blogger and Podcaster Heidi St. John reverberated through my iPhone and broke the silence of my quiet bedroom. (check out The Budy Mom)
Read that again. It is a weapon. How can something so "positive" be as such?
Evil flees from the very utterance of the name of Christ our Savior. It scares Satan when we take those fiery darts, use God's Word to squelch it, and with the power of the Holy Spirit turn something meant for evil into good by singing praises to our Great High King.
Do you think it is a coincidence that we happen to feel generally pretty giddy around the holidays? It is not simply a festive occasion full of fun and tied with a bow. It is meant to be the celebration of all things pure and right and noble and lovely. Of course, we can be tempted to do too much, get too greedy, and ruin the holidays with "I didn't get my way with this family member." But we can attack these temptations with praises to God.
If you read 2 Chr. 20:21-30 you will read how Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing praises to the Lord which ultimately helped them win their battle.
No matter what comes your way this holiday season, turn it into praise. Below is a list of common holiday complaints and how we can use Scripture to turn it into good:
Family is disappointing me with their decisions/actions/words......Father, help me not to hold the imperfections against the people I really do love. Help me to show them your grace and mercy by putting on your lenses. Give me the power to break through my disappointments and trust you as you work on their lives. (Mark 11:25)
Someone is judging me......Lord, thank you for knowing my thoughts and being where I lay down and rise. You know my motives and my heart. Help me to love this person anyway. (Psalm 139)
I get depressed because of (a lost/estranged family member, past hurt, unresolved tension, poor self image, loneliness, etc).......Dear Lord, please lift my eyes to the mountains and know where help comes from. You desire to hear my anxieties and worries and problems. Give me the wisdom I need to find professional help if I need it, or to identify the deep-rooted anguish within me so I am able to surrender it completely to you. (2 Cor. 7, Psalm 121, Phil. 4:6-7, Psalm 62)
Nothing I prepared this year seems like enough compared to Pinterest, Friends, Facebook Posts......Jesus, you are sufficient for me. Your power is made perfect in my weakness. I know I cannot do it all and help me to focus on the goodness of this season without feeling like I have to perform. Give our family the daily bread you have given. Help me to have joy even in the mundane or plain. (2 Cor. 12:9, Gal. 1:10)
I highly recommend you check out The Busy Mom podcast (look for the two-part series on "Abide". Also, for prayers like this, Heidi St. John has a new book call, Prayers for the Battlefield.