Praise: The Foundation for Prayer
A few weeks ago, we talked about spiritual disciplines. An additional discipline I’d like to discuss is prayer.
Many Christians today have questions about prayer: How should I pray? When should I pray? What should I pray?
The best example of prayer in the Bible is given by Jesus in the New Testament. In the Sermon on the Mount, he preaches regarding prayer. He tells His followers not to seek righteousness through prayer, but that prayer should be between you and God only. He also gives His followers a format to follow for prayer. In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus gives us what is known as “The Lord’s Prayer. The beginning of the Lord’s Prayer, our model prayer, is praise for our Lord’s name.
“Hallowed,” comes from the Greek word Hagiazo, which means to revere, set apart, or sanctify God’s name.
It exemplifies vocal adoration
To adore comes from the idea of putting the hand to the mouth or kissing the hand, as a symbol of respect and submission. It recognizes the other’s authority and our servanthood.
That’s what we do when we praise God, we lift Him up and it serves to lower ourselves.
That’s good. Lots of people worry about self esteem. When we realize that we are very small, then our esteem will grow because we can’t live up to the task of being as great as many psychologists want us to be. Self-esteem is healthy, but is paradoxical.
Only praise puts God in rightful position at the beginning of our prayer time. Confession is fine to do first, but putting praise first, further exalts God and makes us more aware of the distance our sin makes us from God’s glory. Only when we see God for who He is can we see ourselves as we really are. And only when we see ourselves as we really are, any confession is still less than it should be (Isaiah 6).
Praise makes our time of petition, listening, intercession, singing, etc. more rich, rewarding, and meaningful because we are more aware of God’s deservedness of such exaltation.
After this blog, I ask you to engage in a time of praising the Lord, exalting His name and recognizing who He is and all that He’s done.
Praise God for His name.
Praise God for His righteousness
Praise God for His infinite creation
Praise God for His Word
Because God is limitless, the potential for praise is also. His person and personality is without bounds.
Praise is to examine and explore the person of God. Uncovering His greatness. Examination like an intense physical examination of a doctor. It is to explore like one looking for Hidden Treasure. Isn’t that what God is?