You’ve probably read the story of Willie Myrick, the 10-year-old boy who didn’t have a lot of discernment but packed a powerful punch with praise.
As the story goes, a kidnapper in Atlanta wooed little Willie with cash until he walked close enough to the car for the criminal to abduct him. Like I said, the little boy may not have discerned the kidnapper’s evil motives, but he certainly knew where to turn when he realized he’d been taken captive in a criminal’s car.
Willie starting singing Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Hezekiah Walker’s song “Every Praise.” Some of the lyrics go like this: “Every praise is to our God/Every word of worship with one accord/Every praise, every praise is to our God/Sing hallelujah to our God/Glory hallelujah is due our God/Every praise, every praise is to our God.”
Willie didn’t just sing high praise to God once. No, the little boy did it over and over and over and over again—for three hours. He later told news reporters that the kidnapper went into a cursing fit and eventually stopped the car and tossed him out (thankfully, no worse for the wear).
"He opened the door and threw me out," Willie told Atlanta television station WXIA-TV. "He told me not to tell anyone."
Do Not Remain Silent
Of course, the young boy refused to remain silent in the car or after he got out. Willie’s testimony glorified God. His story went viral on YouTube, demonstrating to the masses the power of praise. Hezekiah Walker was so touched by the story that he took time to meet with little Willie.
Maybe Willie had read about Paul and Silas in the book of Acts. Paul cast a devil out of a girl with divination, and when her masters saw that they could not longer use her perverted spiritual gifts to make money, they got angry and turned the apostles over to the authorities. The magistrates tore off the apostles' clothes and beat them with rods before throwing them into the inner prison with stocks on their feet (Acts 16:20-24). Look what happened next:
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 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” (vv. 25-26).
Can you imagine singing hymns to God while in a dungeon, likely waiting to be executed? How about singing a Hezekiah Walker song in a car with a kidnapper? In both instances the captives were waging spiritual warfare against the real enemy—the spirits that motivated the attack against them.
Spiritual Warfare With Praise and Worship
Praise and worship is a powerful weapon in our spiritual warfare arsenal. Praise brought down the walls at Jericho (Josh. 6). Praise gave Jehoshaphat victory in battle—when Israel starting singing and praising the Lord, He set ambushes against the enemy and they were defeated (2 Chr. 20:22). Let’s not forget David’s anointed music that delivered Saul from distressing spirits (1 Sam. 16:14-17, 23).
We read these Scriptures, yet how many of us actually sing praise and worship to God in the midst of our battles? How many of us do what Paul and Silas did and sing hymns to God when the enemy has us bound up? How many do what Willie did and refuse to stop singing praises to our God when the enemy is threatening us?
God is always with you, but if you want to unleash more power in spiritual warfare, try more praise and worship and less screaming at the devil. I assure you, I’ve tried both, and praise and worship is a sharper weapon than the loudest, boldest voice binding the devil.
Let Everything That Has Breath …
God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3). Let us sing to the Lord, shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation, come before His presence with thanksgiving, and shout joyfully to Him with psalms (Ps. 95:1-2). Let us worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness (Ps. 29:2). Exalt the Lord and worship at His footstool (Ps. 99:5).
When we sing God’s Word, we bring light into our hearts and into the atmosphere around us. Satan can’t stand the light. Worshipping God is resisting the temptation to look at the enemy. Praising Him keeps our focus on the Prince of Peace rather than the prince of the power of the air.
I could go on and on and on. I got the revelation of worship as spiritual warfare a long while ago. But little Willie’s experience gave me a greater revelation—and a deeper confirmation—that we can ambush Satan with song. So next time you find the enemy trying to take your thoughts captive—or wreak havoc on your natural circumstances—remember Paul, Silas—and Willie. And remember this:
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!" (Ps. 150). Amen.