The Power of Thankfulness: The Power of Praise
by Marilynn Chadwick
Willie Myrick is one of my heroes. When he was just ten, Willie was kidnapped by a knife-wielding assailant. The curious youngster had reached down to pick up a ten-dollar bill the kidnapper left as “bait,” when suddenly, the man jumped from behind a tree and forced Willie into the car.
Speeding across town, the man spewed profanity and threats. The frightened ten-year-old decided to sing his favorite worship song, “Every Praise.” When Willie was later asked why he sang this particular song, he answered, "Well, because I knew that Jesus was gonna be with me and he was gonna get me out!" During that ordeal, thanksgiving and praise became Willie’s spiritual weapons.
Willie continued to sing—for three hours! Finally, the man stopped the car and shoved him out unharmed. Just imagine the faith of this young boy. Instead of dissolving into tears or panic, he worshiped and praised God! Willie's victory over the darkness inspired me to make every effort to respond to worry with praise and thanksgiving.
Soon after I read Willie’s story, a very troubling situation in our family tempted me to fall into intense fear. Suddenly, an old hymn came to mind. The words to “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” poured forth like a warrior’s march. I began to thank God for His power.
Sure enough, my fear was broken. What’s more, the situation that had worried me so much actually resolved itself. Now when a problem stubbornly persists, I remind myself that young Willie kept singing for three hours before he was released!
“Rejoice always,” the Bible reminds us. “Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).
Let’s dare to form a new habit—thanking God right in the midst of our trials. Praise helps us stand our ground in the face of the enemy. Why not take a lesson from a brave ten-year-old and become people of praise!
Adapted from: Marilynn Chadwick, Woman of Valor: Discovering the Courage and Strength God Gave You (Eugene: Harvest House, 2017).