Prayers of Praise (Luke 11:2)

Today we continue our sermon series in Luke 11 on the subject of Prayer.  We learned last Sunday that prayer is communication with God and that it is an act of worship in which a person communicates with God the Father, through the access provided by God the Son, and by the prompting of God the Spirit.

In response to one of His disciples asking to be taught how to pray, Jesus replied:

When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:2-4 ESV)[1]

This morning we begin studying the first section of Jesus’ reply “Father, hallowed be your name” and learn about Prayers of Praise.

Why Praise?

Jesus immediately, in response to the question, instructs His disciples to praise God.  Why should they praise God?  What has God ever done for them?  If I tell people to praise me, I am rightfully considered an ego-maniac with an unhealthy opinion of my self-worth.  If I instruct people to praise me, I am exalting myself to a position that I do not deserve.

Not so with God.  God is the Creator and Owner of all things; therefore He has rights over your daily life and destiny.  All people are accountable to Him to love and serve Him. Praise befits God because of Who He is.  Our text this morning provides two reasons you should praise Him: 1) He reveals Himself as Father and 2) He is worthy of praise.

Father

Jesus teaches His disciples to acknowledge God as Father.  God is not only the Creator and Owner of all things, but desires to be a Father who adopts (Rom 8:15) people into His family. This brings up a very important question: If God created us and owns us, why would He desire to adopt us?  Aren’t we all (as in every person who ever lived) children of God?  Let’s ask Jesus.  In John 8:41, Some Jews said to Jesus, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.”  Jesus replied:

If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here…You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desire (John 8:42-44).

While every person is created by God and bears the image of God, only Christians can call God their Father.  Galatians 3:26 explains this very well.  It says, “in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”  Galatians 4:4-7 says:

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

True praise begins with knowing God the Father.  You may have not had a father in your life or you may have had a bad father.  Do not let that prejudice you against seeing God as Father because He is the ideal Father who is personal, caring, gentle, kind, and loving.

Hallowed Be Your Name

God is the Creator and Owner of all things and all people and He is a Father to all those who are in Christ Jesus by Faith.  We are instructed by Jesus to hallow His name.  What does hallow mean?  To “hallow” something means that you desire it receive the honor and praise it deserves.  Jesus instructs us to pray “hallowed be Your name”, because we must recognize that God is worthy to receive all honor and praise. We cry out in unison with the twenty-four elders of Revelation 4:11: “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

We hallow His name because we desire that God’s name be honored by us and all men.  By hallowing God’s name we are crying out for the coming day when His name is no longer blasphemed.  We look forward with eager expectation to the Day of the Coming of Jesus Christ in which Jesus is “coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen” (Rev 1:7).

In Conclusion

If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, confess your sins and believe the good news of the Gospel.

For those who are followers of Jesus Christ, come to God in prayer and praise Him.  Praise Him for adopting you as a Son and making you an heir of His great and precious promises!  Praise Him for Who He is!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

                                            –Doxology

Questions for Reflection

  1. What is prayer?
  2. Why is it important that we recognize God as “Father”?
  3. What does Hallowed mean?
  4. Why do we hallow God’s name?
  5. Why is it important to praise God through prayer?

[1] The wording of this “Lord’s Prayer” is slightly different than the prayer found in Matt 6 because they were spoken at different places and times.