Sermon

Prayers of Praise (Matthew 6:9 & Luke 11:2)

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After providing examples of how His disciples ought not to pray, Jesus provides an example of how they should pray. What follows is often called “The Lord’s Prayer” or “The Model Prayer”. This prayer is not meant to be recited word for word (though it is a great prayer), rather it is an example of how to pray. Each section of this prayer helps us understand what genuine prayer includes. The model prayer is:

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do notbring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is thekingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

In the first section, Jesus instructed His disciples to offer Prayers of Praise toGod: saying “Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” Why should we praise God? What has God ever done for you? Why should God be praised and not me? If I tell people to praise me, I am considered an egomaniac with an unhealthy opinion of my self-worth. If I instruct people to praise me, I am rebuked for exalting myself to a position that I do not
deserve. With God, however, it is right to praise Him. 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 He is worthy.

Our Father in Heaven

Jesus teaches His disciples to acknowledge God as Father. God is not only the Creator and Owner of all things, but delights in being 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 need to adopt us? Aren’t we all (as in every person who ever lived) children of God? Let’s ask Jesus. In John 8:41-44, 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 yourfather’s desire.

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 beginswith knowing God the Father. You may have not had a father in your life or you may have had abad father. Do not let that prejudice you against seeing God as Father becauseHe 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 God’s name. What does hallow mean? To hallow means that you honor it as holy. It means 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).

If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, confess your sins and believe the good news of the Gospel. Worship God and give Him the praise He deserves. 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 Jesus our blessed redeemer!