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2021 online sermons » Leon Fontaine » Leon Fontaine - Prayer And Praise

Leon Fontaine - Prayer And Praise

Leon Fontaine - Prayer And Praise
TOPICS: Prayer, Praise

I want to talk about the issue of praise, and the absolute power of praise in your life. Because every one of us have areas of our lives that we live imprisoned to maybe fear in an area, or we can't seem to get results. And it's like we are shut down, it's like we are plateaued. It's like we can't seem to get anywhere, in that area. And it, it affects our faith. It affects our lives. People begin to settle in every area of life when they can't seem to break through and to see something happen in an area that they're believing God. I remember just as a young pastor, when Sal and I came here, I believe in '94, and God was so good to us. I mean, the people that were here at Springs Church, the core that we found, had the same heart as we did.

We fell in love with the core of Springs Church in '94, yet there was still a periphery that came against us, that tried to do everything they could to shut us down. And then there were death threats from people outside of the church. As we begin to grow, there became financial issues and leadership, and training people and raising them up to handle the growth that was going on. And it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. And as a young pastor, in my early 30's, I remember beginning to feel this pressure. And, I was never afraid. I was never frightened. Most men can relate to this. I just felt the pressure. The heaviness of by brain engaging problems. Bigger problems, and bigger problems, and then in this area engaging problems. Some were financial, some were, all, there's a whole bunch of areas.

And I remember ending up in the hospital, because I got, I got sick, they did a ton of tests on me, they couldn't find anything wrong with me, and they did a battery of tests. I remember my dad walking into the room, you know, a vet for the kingdom of God, been through everything imaginable after 40-some, four decades of ministry. And he just walked in, heard what was going on, slammed his hand into the middle of my chest, and just spoke life and healing and blessing. And it just lifted me. He looked me in the eye, and he said, "Listen. Learn to relax. Leave many things with God, and don't let the pressures and the weights of things push at you and weigh you down".

I remember going home and beginning to dive into the Word of God to figure out, I need so many answers. I need staffing, I need financial answers, I need to release some staff. I need to figure out protection, is this serious, is my life really at threat? And then we've got building issues, and we've got these issues, and, and, and, and, and. And all of these things. And I begin to discover something that I had learned and that I knew about, but that I had not practiced. And it was the power of praising God. It was the power of even if everything was going wrong, to shut my mouth and don't repeat any of it. It was to, begin to recognize the power that in the process of faith, praising Him, thanking Him, blessing Him, giving Him glory, magnifying Him. These words need to be looked at.

And we need to understand that they fit in the process of faith, and they have an amazing ability to manifest the power of God. Or to bring the miracle about. To cause something to shift in the natural realm, that you're standing in faith for. I begin to recognize as never before, there would never be a level in my life, that I would not have to get up and praise God and worship Him. As I studied this out, I recognized that even in warfare, I would study some of the great African tribes and their warfare, and they would have these chants and these dances that would, they could just drive themselves into a sense of courage. With, they would talk about Vikings and some of these soldiers from the past, they would call them berserkers because they could work themselves up. And every nation would have an army, and they would literally sing as they marched. And they would be a kind of cadence, that they would sing and that they would speak. But it would seem to bring every soldier together.

Even in our American, First Nation people. As you study many of them, even when it comes to having a dying wound in the middle of a war, they would sing their death song. There was something about keeping their courage up, about beginning to sing and declare. It was a war cry. It was a song that stirred people. Right to the very bottom of their heart. And we can see it in all secular warfare, and I begin to recognize and I begin to find it all through the Word of God. Now, I'm saying this because so many of you are watching me today, and you're letting the burden of what's going on around you, even the unknown, there seems to be this pressure that every person might handle differently depending on where they are.

I remember, going through a great season but it was a hard season. There was a heaviness. And, I would go into the office and as people would want to come in and see me, I was a new pastor. And there were new, there were old issues that had been brewing in the church between people and families, and you name it. And then there were new issues. And it was like I could never keep up. So finally one day I just took in my schedule, and I set aside a time, and it was just booked. And I would walk into the sanctuary in 479 St. Mary's, I would close the doors, I would tell the staff don't let anybody in. The sanctuary's mine. And I had about, I've got about eight years of piano lessons that I never used, but I'd sit down in rough chording, and I'd begin to worship God. Or I'd grab a guitar if there was an acoustic guitar there. And I'd begin, or I would just sing a cappella. But I would begin to praise Him. I would begin to declare, His power. His ability. I'd begin to declare His greatness. I'd begin to declare that it was done. I would sing songs that were powerful. Songs that had faith in the very wording of overcoming, of winning.

You know, I often tease about some of the old hymns, and how bad they are. And some are. But there's also old hymns that nailed it. Like, on Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. It's just like, the right songs would come up. And I would sing them, or I would just walk down the aisles of that church, and I would begin to declare. I'd prophecy to the future that these problems are solved. These needs are met. Protection is mine. The staff I need is coming in. The people are lined up at the doors. And I'd begin to just declare, and this was a praising and a worshipping of God. And I'd begin to do that every day. Well, I have some bad news. My problems didn't go away. They got bigger, because the church grew quicker. And all of the things that were going on were so successful, they stressed out every area. But what I noticed, was a spirit of faith. That began to just stay with me. And it wasn't that faith ever left. You know there's a verse in Jude 20. That talks about building yourself up on your most holy faith. Praying in the spirit. I begin to pray in the spirit. I begin to declare in English. I begin to pray the promises over this church, over the school, over the staff, over everything. My family, my marriage, Sal and I had five little kids at the time of this going on. And so we're both trying to maintain and look after home, and kids, and family, and church. And so as we, I begin to declare and praise Him, something begin to happen on the inside of me.

I want to challenge you today. I don't know where you're at. I don't know what's going on in your world. It might be all wonderful, you might be just trying to get to a new season in your life. But you're going to get there through praising Him. Because praise is the war cry of a believer who knows who their God is. And that greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. Now, the apostles seem to understand this. Because in Acts 16, we have, this is sung about, everybody knows this story. But few have dissected it to see an understand the principles that bring the miraculous into your world. Some people just think hey if you praise God, God's going to show up. That's Old Testament. God is already shown up, He's already paid the price for every miracle you need. We don't have to praise Him and glorify Him because He's got such low self-esteem, we've got to build God up. Until God finally moves. No. People have been teaching this wrong. Let's dive into this.

Paul and Silas, they are doing things for God, the Jews get really upset because they're teaching customs that they believe they should be teaching. And says that they charged them, put them in the innermost prison, made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God. I want you to know something. At the midnight hour of your problem, is when it's the darkest. It's when it's the worst. It's when your imagination goes crazy. It's when you don't think there's any more hope. It's when if you let it, you'll just fold. Like an old accordion, just pew! That midnight, the worst possible hour, because the morning's about to come, but this is the latest hour of the night. All of a sudden, they didn't back down. They began to pray and sing praises to God. They sang so loud, that the prisoners heard them. I've got news for you.

To be Spirit Contemporary doesn't mean to shut up. It doesn't mean that you're not going to offend people. It doesn't mean any of those things. It means that everything that you do, is going to be spiritually alive, okay? But you're going to be contemporary with the people you're witnessing to. But if you're in the middle of your storm, if you're in the middle of these guys are handcuffed and feet in stocks in the middle of a jail. You're not going to want to be, hey. Let's sing really quietly Paul, so we don't upset anybody. They didn't do that. They began to sing, and they begin to sing the Word of God so loud, from the inner prison. That they heard them everywhere. Now this is an interesting point. Because it says here, they sang, they praise, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately, all the doors were opened, and everyone, not just them. Everyone's bands were loosed.

I want you to know. That when you begin to praise God, it is such a stance of faith. It is declaring and praising Him, that it's done. That my God is more than enough. He's big enough. This thing is settled in heaven, it was decided 2.000 years ago. Nothing is stopping my miracle. I would just talk like this. I would point to the sky, I would point to the building. I would declare, I'd speak to finances. I would tell the enemy, I mean, I didn't speak to him much. He was a waste of time, but any time he came up, I'd just go away. And I would just declare the life that we had. And there is a powerful atmosphere that praise begins to bring into your life. Now they were singing so loud, that the rest of the prisoners heard them.

Now, every word in the Bible is inspired by Holy Spirit. And it's there for a purpose. Why did it say that they sang so loud that everybody heard them, and how did they know that? Well, if everybody heard them, and they began to sing. This wasn't just singing, it was worship. It was praising God. Then you know it touched the very heart of that entire prison. You know that it did something to the rest of them to hear men who they knew were whipped and beaten. When you, dad and I, we would go to the prisons a lot on the weekends. When we worked together, and we would counsel and bring many of the prisoners out, the families would tell them about us and we would speak with them. And so, I'm familiar with talking and ministering with prisoners. They know everything within minutes around there. They have a way of getting the news out. They knew, who these two men were. They knew that Paul and Silas had been whipped, beaten. They were the worst of the worst as far as the community were concerned, because they were buried in the deepest prison. Locked up hand and feet, and I mean, they had soldiers around them. But when they praised God...

Now listen to me. When you praise God, God's not got His arms folded looking at you going, hey. If you'll just sing enough and tell me how amazing I am, I'll do something for you. Like, sometimes we get this, I've had people say is God that, like, I don't know, low self-esteem that you've got to be continually magnifying Him, praising Him, lifting Him up, has He falling down so much that is He so insecure that we need to praise Him? No. God knows who He is. The problem is you and I don't. We think our problem is so big. It's a hundred thousand dollars I've got to have. Or, do you know how many millions of dollars our company is in debt? Or do you realize how sick this person is? And people love to look at their problem and exalt it. They magnify the problem. And here, they're magnifying God. They're praising God. They changes the very atmosphere of that prison, and power explodes on the scene, and shakes the very foundation of what is holding them.

When you praise God, whatever the foundation is of that debt, whatever the foundation is of that threat, whatever the foundation is of that sickness, the foundations, they get destroyed. They get shaken. And the foundations of that prison were shaken. And every door popped open. Can you imagine how hard someone say well it was just an earthquake. Well I'm sure it was, but it popped open the stocks around their feet. It popped open chains, and doors, and, and, and. It was an incredible manifestation of the power of God. Not because God decided well okay, give it to him, Gabriel. But because, when you begin to praise God, this persuasion of your heart, this heart begins to rise up in faith, and it begins to connect. And I'm telling you, if you want to mix a little science with the Bible, every subatomic particle on this planet is got to be obedient to the Word and the presence of God. That is the way God designed it, He spoke this planet into existence with faith words. And faith words cause it to change. And this foundations of this prison were shaken.

Now in Psalms 100, is a brilliant portion of scripture that was designed for them back then, but it has incredible secrets for New Covenant believers. It says here, make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. When it comes to praising God, you know, if you've got to cry a little bit, fine. But get those tears done, and then get up and begin to rejoice. Because it doesn't say make a, make a mournful noise. You know most church music, now and so many places, is mournful? It's like, grieving ahead of time. Going to church is like going to a funeral. The organ plays this slow music, and people begin to weep and cry. Which is just kind of therapeutic to stay in their needs in many cases. But the Bible doesn't say to do that. It says make a joyful noise. Says well I'm joyful on the inside. Tell your face! Make a joyful noise. Use your throat, use your mouth.

Some of you on the way home, need to just start singing. It's crucial that we teach our kids, at the youngest age, to get up and make a joyful noise. If your home doesn't have enough joy in it, it's your fault as parents. The kids can't control that home, you do. Get up there and shout, laugh, dance, do something to have some fun. And then always be able to do it and sing around, worshipping and making a joyful noise. It says serve the Lord with gladness. Come before His presence with singing. Leon, I don't sing that good. Neither do I. When you sing and praise God, He's not checking to see if you're on pitch and then disqualifying. He's checking your heart, because true worship comes from the heart, not from the excellence of pitch and rhythm.

As you dive into Psalms 100, it says here that He hath made us. And it's not we ourselves, we are His people. We're the sheep of His pasture. So, enter His gates with thanksgiving. Enter His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him, bless His name. For the Lord, He is good. His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations. When He says, I will be there. He will. And so this praising God, this, it literally says to shout. Now, someone is thinking right now. Yeah, Leon, like you don't really understand my personality type. I'm not much of a shouter. Yeah, wish, and you know what? Your wife wishes you would get a little bit more passionate, it would help in every room. Maybe even including the bedroom. Get some passion when you talk. Get some passion about life. Get some passion about what you're doing. Get up and declare how good God is, get up and make a decision to praise Him with all of your heart. Passion, the Bible says that zeal for His house has eaten up Jesus. Zeal. He was passionate.

If you've got a picture of Jesus, walking along by the sea shore with His long brown hair, and He goes, my peace I leave with you. Not as the world gives, but I give you my peace. Are you kidding me? This is the guy who took a whip to the temple, this is the guy that, demon-possessed people running naked through, cemeteries fall on their face. This is the guy walking in the middle of a storm with waves so high, fisherman are scared. And I'm talking about, this guy is a passionate teacher. Some of you are facing problems right now. There's a financial shortage. There's something about your body that's not coming around. And Leon, well I'm confessing the Word and I'm reading and I'm listening to tapes. Listen, get up and praise Him for the answer. Enter His gates with thanksgiving. Begin to enter His courts with praise. Get up and shout and declare His good, David said I can run through a troop and leap over a wall. David declared these things.

And so praise is an absolute necessity for the faith, New Covenant, man or woman who wants to see these miracles done. How many times have I seen people where I say, come on. Jesus is the author, and the finisher of our faith. Author, and finisher. I'm going to close with this thought. Whenever I see somebody sing, if I see a great band, our worship and praise team, they'll do worship and praise and maybe someone will have a solo part or the whole band begins to dig into something. And it's just this amazing togetherness of worship that just comes out of them, and you'll see people explode in applause or maybe you've got a favourite band and as they sing this new song, all of a sudden this lead singer hits that note, then hits a higher note and you're blown away, and then they go two notes higher, and the place erupts. Maybe it's your favourite hockey team, and there's no way they're going to get a goal with this few seconds left in the game. But somehow they call a play, it goes to their favourite player, and with just a second on the clock, this incredible play, wham! Right in the net, and the crowd goes crazy.

Listen to me. What God has done for you is greater than a rubber puck in the net. What God has done for you is greater than hitting a high note in a song. What Jesus continually does for you is so amazing and so incredible, but you've forgotten His presence. You've forgotten the angels of God everywhere. The blessing of God that is on you. It's time to recognize how incredible God is, magnify Him, praise, sing. Make a decision to open your Canadian mouth, and anyone else around the planet, and stop being so reserved. Find a prayer closet, go for a walk on your farmland, go for a whatever and begin to shout, declare the promises, sing that song, and make a decision. That if worship and praise continually brings the miraculous, I want the miraculous in my life. I want it in my home, my marriage, my family, the church, and every area of our lives.

Father, I pray today. That every one of us would be stirred up about the church of Jesus Christ. When the world says ho hum about Jesus, we ought to be bursting at the seams with the passion and the excitement. When the world goes crazy over a sports activity, or a special song, Father, I pray that you'd stir us up to know the greatness of our God. The incredible salvation that has come to us. That the promises are done, and to get up and to declare it's done, even in the midst of seeing no answers with our five senses. We get up and declare our God is greater than our problem.

And Father, I pray You'll stir up every person listening to me right now. And Holy Spirit, plant something in their heart. Get them to rise up and stop looking for someone else to bail them out, and to declare their God is never let them down. Father, I pray this right now. Seal this deep in their heart, and let this be an occasion they'll never forget. I pray that they dream this every night. I pray that it changes every area of their life. I pray that they would take a hold and begin to persuade their heart and release the power of God. With their praise. I pray this.

If you're watching right now and you don't know Jesus Christ. As your personal Saviour, He's so awesome. He's so incredible. I've never, ever regretted the day I gave my life to Him. If you'd like to, all you need to do is just as Him. Say:

Jesus, come into my heart. I'm just putting my trust in You. I'm following You for the rest of my says, as my Saviour and Lord. Thank You for dying in my place. For making sure I'm forgiven, and right now I choose to be born again. In Jesus' wonderful name, amen and amen.

Welcome to the family of God, that's how awesome that is, that's how wonderful that is.

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