There's Power In Praise
by Danita Harris

How many of you know there is POWER in PRAISE? I certainly do. My maternal grandmother died suddenly the week before Thanksgiving. To say that my family was devastated would be an understatement. We all miss her but we know she is at peace. I was very close to my grandmother, so close that I called her "Mommy". She really was like a second mom to me. She was a woman who loved and worshipped God and taught me the importance of having a close walk with Him. We talked about what the Lord was doing in our lives quite often, and whenever I had a problem or crisis in my life, Mommy would always tell me to pray about it. She was a beautiful woman who taught me unconditional love. You see, Mommy just loved everybody. Once she met you, she would always tell you God Bless You and I love you...and she meant it with all of her heart. She didn't care about your color, age, gender, or financial status, she just loved unconditionally. A love she learned from serving and worshipping God.

After we found out that Mommy had died, my aunt asked me if I would lead praise and worship during the funeral service. In my flesh I knew there was no way I could sing and lead others, when I felt like my heart was broken in a million pieces. I told her yes, but I had no idea how I was going to do it without breaking down. But when that day came, I didn't depend on my inability, instead I concentrated on God's ability. God, who can do all things. God who is awesome, powerful and mighty. God, who can do anything but fail. God, who called me out for this appointed time to praise His name. I also knew that Mommy loved to praise the Lord. We sang God's praises many times at her dining room table...the place where many heartfelt conversations took place between us. Mommy would want us to celebrate her life and what better way to do that than to lift up the name of Jesus.

As I approached the podium, I could feel my spirit getting stronger and stronger with each step. I wasn't worried about not being able to lead praise and worship. Just the opposite, I was getting excited about the goodness of Jesus and that he blessed me with a grandmother who deposited in me a love that will never die. Mommy was with me that day. The organist began to play "This Little Light of Mine", and with the first note that rang out of my mouth, God took control. My family stood to their feet, clapping, singing and smiling. There were no tears of sorrow, but tears of joy. We celebrated the goodness of our God. It was like his love just rained down on us in that church. And somehow I knew Mommy was celebrating with us. You see, when praises go up blessings come down. I can honestly say that my family felt the blessing of God.

The joy of the Lord was my strength that day. People saw Danita leading praise and worship, but they felt the presence of God lifting their spirits higher and higher. The more they praised Him, the stronger they felt. The POWER of PRAISE enabled my family to move on from that day, keeping Mommy's spirit alive. That experience served as a reminder that God is real and He is worthy to be praised.

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord!

Danita Harris is an anchor at WEWS News Channel Five and can be seen daily on Good Morning Cleveland and News Channel Five at Noon. She loves to write poetry, sing, and volunteer with The Girls Club of Ohio. Danita loves to encourage people in the Lord, and prays everyday that people would see the light of the Lord in her life.