When You Pray, Begin With Praise
By Rick Warren
— May 21, 2014
This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven: May your holy name be honored ...." Matthew 6:9 (TEV)
"Why should I praise God? Because it gets my focus off myself and onto God -- so I can talk to Him and not at him. "
When Jesus' friends asked him how to pray, he gave them a model prayer. Today we call it the Lord's Prayer, and it gives us a great outline for making contact with God.
The first idea Jesus gives us for making contact with God is captured by the words: "Our Father in heaven: May your holy name be honored ...." Jesus is talking about praise. You begin making contact with God by praising him, by worshiping him
What is praise? Praise is thanking God for who and what He is. It means to value Him, to esteem Him. It means bragging on him: "God, You are good! There's no one as good as you!"
Why should I praise God? Because it gets my focus off myself and onto God -- so I can talk to Him and not at him. That's why we start with praise. If you want help learning how to praise God, read through the Book of the Psalms. Many of them were written simply to praise God. If you read them aloud, you'll learn a lot about praising God in prayer.
Notice Jesus talks about God's name being holy. Did you know God has many names? In the Bible, a name was a clue to a person's character. The Bible reveals the character of God through the names it uses for God. Through these names, we learn that -
- God Is Present With Me
- God Is My Shepherd
- God Is My Provider
- God Is My Healer
- God Is My Peace
- God Is My Victory In Conflict
Praying the names of God reminds you of who he is and what He has done for you - and that will stir up love in your heart for him. You begin worshipfully praying by giving God your love.