City Harvest Church’s advisory pastor, Phil Pringle, encouraged the church to keep praises on their lips.
“As I was feeling the weight of your prayers, I could feel that God wants you to change gear—to include and amplify your praise,” said Phil Pringle, advisory pastor to CHC. He was speaking at the services on the weekend of Sep 24 and 25, after the congregation’s praise and worship which ended with prayer.
As he took to the stage, Pringle called all the church staff up on to the stage and prayed over them, proclaiming fresh anointing, authority, power and blessing upon them. He also commended the church for remaining faithful and fervent in prayer throughout the years of trial that culminated in the appeals of the six CHC leaders in the Court of Appeal earlier that week.
“You’re just starting to break through in the spiritual world, in dismantling spiritual entities [that were] against you,” declared Pringle. “I saw the weakening of spiritual forces and the strengthening of the power of God amongst you. Angels dwell and are activated in an atmosphere of praise and worship. Put on your garment of praise today!”
Reading from Romans 8:28, 31-39, the pastor reminded the church that nothing could separate them from the love of Christ. “This Word is expressed in actual spiritual reality, where there are angelic beings looking after us and protecting us,” he said.
Highlighting verse 34 which says, “It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us,” Pringle explained that Jesus is still holding on to His humanity today, even though He is in heaven, at the right hand of the Father.
“We think His greatest sacrifice is to die for us, but the greatest sacrifice is that He became like us so that we can be like Him.”
That is why there ought to be no limit to the praises Christians give to Jesus.
“Our praise takes on value when Jesus is at the center,” said Pringle. “If He is not at the center of our praise and worship, it is weak. Praise that has Jesus carries weight. My praise cannot be centered on the cross and limited to a moment in time, but it is endless, because Jesus’ sacrifice is endless!”
The power of praise cannot be underestimated or overstated. The Hebrew title of Psalms comes from the same root word as “Hallelujah”. Psalm 100:1-5 (MSG) says that the first step in entering praise is through thanksgiving, an attitude of gratitude. When a person’s attitude is right, the atmosphere he carries will be like perfume and when their attitude is distasteful, it will be a stench.
Complaints poison a person’s system, Pringle told the congregation. Thanksgiving, on the other hand, carries deep spiritual power to access things that are hidden, things that complainers and whiners are unable to see.
“The fruit of our lips reflects what is in our spirit,” the pastor continued. He encouraged the church to always keep His praises on their lips.
Pringle then shared two aspects of praise: Firstly, praise is a weapon. Matthew 21:16 says that when the people of God praise Him, they become strong.
“Our praise silences the enemy,” said Pringle. “Satan will point us to our condition, but we need to focus on our position with God; we are seated in the heavenly places and blessed with every spiritual blessing.”
Pringle taught the people that praise is toxic to Satan and whenever praises are made to God, his power is weakened. Psalm 149:6-8 reminds believers that praise is a two-edged sword that can defeat the enemy.
“We have to activate, energize and refuel spiritual entities in spiritual warfare by praising [Jesus],” said Pringle.
Secondly, praise is the key of David. The key of David locks and doors, he taught.
“Listening to praise and worship songs is good, but it’s like someone else is singing for you,” Pringle pointed out. “The Bible says ‘You sing!’, and if you can’t sing, make a joyful noise! Your voice is what God wants to hear.”
The pastor concluded his sermon with a creative illustration of Acts 16:25-26, where the Bible says Paul and Silas were imprisoned. Employing ample creative license, Pringle dramatized how the two men of God praised and sang hymns to God even while chained to the floor. Their little praise song grew wings and flew up to the heavens and reached God, who was touched and started tapping His foot, sending an earthquake that broke open the chains that held not just Paul and Silas, but the entire prison.
Victor Khoo, 28, a computer graphic artist, was impacted by this last illustration. “I was blown away by Pastor Phil’s graphic illustration of the tremendous power of praising God. The little bird carrying our praise song, to the tapping of God’s foot that became the earthquake that shook the prison. Now I spend 15 minutes every morning deliberately just praising God with my words and songs, imagining the journey that my little song travels to my Heavenly Father.”
Pringle ended with an altar call for salvation. He will be back in church to preach in November.