Christian Living
Prayer Starts with Praise
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Aug 12, 2017
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In Matthew 6:9, Jesus told His disciples to pray, "Hallowed be Your name." But do we really understand what this means and why it is important? Hallowed is an archaic word in our society, but it simply means holy, or set apart. To hallow the name of God is to set Him apart—to exalt Him above all else because of who He is.

Read Matthew 6:9 and Psalm 9:1-2, 10. When we pray, "Hallowed be Your name," we are asking God to ensure that His name is glorified. We are asking that He would empower us to trust and obey Him.

When we come to God, His holy name should be first and foremost in our minds.

In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus has shown us that we should come to God in adoration—with praise on our lips so that we are preoccupied with who God is and not with ourselves. There's nothing wrong with bringing our needs and requests before the Lord. In fact, we are commanded to do so (see Philippians 4:6). But when we come to God, His holy name should be first and foremost in our minds.

The apostle Paul understood this. When he and Silas were beaten and imprisoned for sharing the Gospel, they were found "praying and singing hymns to God" (Acts 16:25). Their response to suffering was to worship God, to delight in His sovereignty and goodness, and to preoccupy themselves with His will.

This is the secret to a healthy prayer life. Paul and Silas, though no doubt in pain and need, were lifted up into the throne room of heaven by their prayers. Their joy was genuine because they delighted in the character of God, trusting Him even in the direst circumstance. Their prayers, their praise, and their actions glorified His name—and God honored their faithfulness: He miraculously released them from prison, resulting in the salvation of many more souls out of His mercy and grace (see Acts 16:26-34).

If you want to be a person who glorifies God in all that you do, then you must praise Him for His goodness, mercy, love, justice, sovereignty, faithfulness, wisdom, infinitude, holiness, and more as you pray: "Hallowed be Your name."

Prayer: Lord, I praise You for Your overwhelming goodness. Your character is perfect beyond my understanding. You carry out justice with matchless wisdom and faithful love. You are great and worthy of all worship. Thank You for saving me so that I might know You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you" (Psalm 9:10).