When it comes to illustrating the power of praise and worship in spiritual warfare, II Chronicles 20:21-22 does this extremely well. II Chronicles 20:21-22 (Amplified version) says,
"21)When he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers to sing to the Lord and praise Him in their holy [priestly] garments as they went out before the army, saying, Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! 22)And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come against Judah, and they were [self-] slaughtered."
Praise and Worship on the Front-lines!
Worshipers were sent out first, not their soldiers with weapons! What would the media say today if the military sent in Christians on the front-lines first before soldiers or even tanks to sing and worship God? They would say that they were crazy! But this portion of scripture shows how important praise and worship is in the forefront of spiritual warfare (battles you face in life).
When they BEGAN to sing and praise God, He set ambushments to defeat their army. Praise and worship (out of obedience, sincerity, from the heart) caused the enemy to be confused, and they slaughtered themselves! When you offer praise and worship to God, you are actually setting "ambushments" in the spiritual realm! The enemy will fall into their own traps they set for you. When you send praises forth in the midst of a battle in life, Satan and his demonic minions cannot understand why or how you can praise God when faced with such a difficult trial. I can picture them arguing and fussing with each other out of total confusion in the Believer's actions toward their God. Therefore, the enemy ends up fighting and destroying themselves.
Praise and Worship in a High Security Prison!
Another wonderful example of the powerful effects of praise and worship in the midst of a trial is found in Acts 16:22-26. In this portion of scripture it begins with Paul and Silas being beaten and imprisoned:
"22) Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23) And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24) Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25) But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26) Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed."
The release (physical and spiritual) did not occur until Paul and Silas broke out into prayer and praises to God. You know that if the other prisoners were listening, then every demon involved in Paul and Silas' horrible treatment and bondage stood at attention as they realized they were defeated!
God's Word and Praise Work Together
Another important point is that God's Word and praise go together. Psalm 149:6-8 says,
"6) Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, 7) To execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; 8) To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;"
In order to execute vengeance and punishments (chastisement) and bind the enemy with chains and fetters, the Word of God must be mixed with praises. That is a mighty powerful combination! We must not only have God's Word in our hearts, but It must also be released out of our mouths as a praise to God out of our physical mouth and into the spiritual realm. That scripture also implies that we are to send forth praises and do spiritual warfare at the same time.
Revealing a Strategy of Satan
One main strategy of Satan is that he tries to place a spirit of heaviness, heavy burdens, failing spirits, upon Christians. If he can be successful at that he can stop us from going forth in working for the Kingdom of God.
Isaiah 61:3 says, "To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."
The enemy wants to place a spirit of heaviness upon us to weigh us down to be ineffective Christians and ineffective in spiritual warfare. Satan knows what a powerful weapon praise is, and he will do all he can to prevent praise from rising up from within us. He will use sickness, financial struggles, job issues, relationship problems, family crisis, busy schedules, and the list goes on. This heaviness can even result in depression.
Shake it off!
Sometimes it is difficult to speak out praises in the midst of trouble. But that is exactly how Satan wants it to be. So, it is time to rise up, Church, and shake off that heaviness and let the praises come forth from deep within you to tear down strongholds of the enemy!