Have you ever heard the expression, when praises go up, heaven comes down?
When we hear phrases like that, we typically picture a big crowd in a big church with many hands raised by people singing worship music. And it’s true – when God’s people get together to worship him, he is present among them in a special way.
But it’s also true that when you’re all alone, in the dark, walking through the valley of the shadow of death, God’s presence is there as well. And I believe God responds hastily to our praise from the valley.
It’s always appropriate to offer praise to God from the mountain tops of life, when we’ve experienced victory and our circumstances are good. But I believe there is a special honor for God reserved for the kind of praise we offer out of suffering.
The Apostle Paul and his companion, Silas, were tossed in jail in Philippi for healing and young slave who had been possessed with a demon. Their act of kindness had ruined the business of her owners and they were outraged.
Paul and Silas were beaten, then put in prison and chained to the wall. And then something peculiar happened.
Paul and Silas, undaunted, prayed in the middle of the night and sang songs of praise to God, while all the other prisoners listened to their worship.
~ Acts 16:25 TPT
In jail, at midnight, in a strange city, Paul and Silas sang praises to God. And what happened was miraculous. An earthquake followed, freeing them and all of the other prisoners, but not one single prisoner tried to escape. They were all captivated by the message of the gospel Paul and Silas were sharing.
The jailer trusted Jesus that night and the course of history for his whole family changed.
Here’s the point: Miracles occur when you praise God in the valley. Don’t stop! When you worship, especially in broken places, God shows up and manifests his presence in ways you’ve yet to even imagine!