Adoration: Praise before Petition
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
The next phrase brings us another portion of the platform upon which to build, yet it is often the most undeveloped part of modern prayer.
Jesus told them to say, "Hallowed be Thy name." What does this mean? Is it just a phrase which we repeat in order to make sure our prayer is going to be heard? No, it is a vital part of the model upon which our own prayers are to be erected. After entered through the doorway of our relationship with God, adoration is the hallway that fills and connects all the other rooms in our house of prayer.
The word "Hallowed" is the verb form of the word holy. In the case of the model prayer is an acknowledgment of the holiness, the sanctity of God's name and thereby God Himself. The phrase in this abbreviated model is a place for worship and praise to the One we are praying to.
In our real prayers this room is often absent or very empty. We are so eager or programmed to ask things from God in prayer that we neglect time spent with God in prayer. To praise God during our prayer is to honor Him, commune with Him, and render to Him what is due as the Creator of the Universe and the only one who can intervene in time and space to help us.
Let's look at some examples of prayers from the great men of the Bible and mark how their prayers begin with praise and worship.
Peter and the early church
Acts 4:23 - 31
In these examples you can see that those praying had a deep reverence and appreciation for the High and Holy one they approached in prayer. They understood what Psalms 100 tells each of us to do as we approach God.
Psalm 100:1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name. 5 For the LORD [is] good; his mercy [is] everlasting; and his truth [endureth] to all generations.
Many of us find the idea of praising God in our prayers difficult. We just don't find words of praise pouring from our lips as is did for David or Fanny J. Crosby. Let me make this suggestion which was given to me when I was trying to figure out how to put praise before petition. First quit stop praying the way you've always prayed, head down, eyes closed, etc. There is a place for that position in prayer but not when you are trying to worship God and praise Him. Instead get your Bible and open it to the Psalms. The last 50 Psalms are almost all about Praise, read them, read them aloud. You should also consider singing a hymn, praise song or chorus. You're prayer now becomes not just a means of telling God what you want but a real meeting with God, a sharing, a worship and a wonderful time of just being with Him. Now prayer isn't a duty or a chore it is a joyful time of being with the One who loves you more than any other.
Psalm 150:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.