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ALTAR CALL: Take praise to ‘next level’

Cheryl Harewood

ALTAR CALL: Take praise to ‘next level’

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AS bishop Richard Wayne T. Barrow walked to the pulpit, he put his hands in the air and asked his congregation at Victorious Living Ministries International, located at Briar Hall, Christ Church, to raise their hands in praise.
Moments prior to this request, the worship team had taken the congregation on a praise journey; but it seemingly was not enough.
“Praise your way through. Praise your way through. God’s got something better if you praise your way through,”  Barrow urged, as he belted out the words to this praise song.
It was a warm Sunday morning. The 200 plus people clapped, danced or raised their hands.
Barrow’s request paved the way for the sermon entitled Raise Your Praise. He contended that more time must be spent in praising God for who He is and to experience breakthroughs to prayer.
Barrrow turned his attention to Matthew, Chapter 20, Verses 29-33 where two blind men, on hearing that Jesus was passing by, praised Him and were healed.
“They were blind, but they could hear. They heard that Jesus was passing through and that something was going on. They raised their praise level. The problem with us today is that we’ve been taught to pray about everything, but until prayer is coupled with praise, there is no victory,” Barrow informed.
He told his listeners not to become so burdened that they lose their praise.
As shouts of “hallelujah” and “amen” rang out, Barrow said that just as the blind men heard that Jesus was passing, “nothing can happen in our lives until we hear from God”.
“Jesus never did anything in His life until He heard from God. Listen and hear what the Spirit is saying before you act,” he cautioned.
“God’s ears are open to praise. Amid the hundreds of people surrounding Jesus that day, He heard the praise of these blind men.”
He added: “When you choose to praise God, there is nothing that can hold you back.
“Just as Rebekah struggled with twins in her stomach, we often struggle with issues because we refuse to raise our praise.
“Praise Him early in the morning when you awake. Give God praise and He will fix everything for you. Call upon His name. God says He inhabits the praises of His people. If you need a miracle or breakthrough, open your mouth and give God praise,” he urged.
“You may have been praising Him before and haven’t seen anything yet. Take your praise to another level,” he advised.
He noted that when Jesus heard the blind men praising, He asked that they be brought to Him, and at their request, they received their healing.
“They got what they wanted because they raised their praise level.”