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When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

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When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

Post  Pa Ta Rick on Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:00 am

Matthew 6:9
9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

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 thanking God for who and what He is.

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. In the Bible, a name was a clue to a person's character. The Bible reveals the character of God through the many 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. That will stir up love in your heart for him.
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Re: When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

Post  jeremy k. on Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:25 pm

This reminds me of a message that I once heard about how we should pray. To make it easy to remember, the pastor told us the acronym P.R.A.Y. which stands for praise, repent, ask, and yield. Praising God sets our focus that it is about Him at all times and also reminds us that God is the one who is in control. Second, repenting is when we ask God for forgiveness for the sins we have committed, and it is when we truly have the desire for Him to change us. Asking is what I tend to wrongly begin my prayers with. Out of my own selfish desire I just ask God for whatever I want Him to do instead of first acknowledging Him as my Lord and confessing my sins. This should only come after first praising and then repenting. Lastly, we should yield to God and surrender to His plan for us. This is when Jesus says (in the Lord's Prayer), "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." This devo stresses the importance of starting prayer with praise, as it sets our focus onto God and not ourselves, and leads to repentance, asking, and yielding.

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Re: When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

Post  Pa Ta Rick on Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:37 pm

Something that really struck out to me was this part
"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"
We praise God to talk TO him not AT him. Sometimes praise can get a little confusing. Are you giving praise to God or giving praise at God. When we're up on stage, it is really easy to just sing. We can sing the lyrics and just go on with our weeks. But if we do that, we'd be the same as a regular band. We're a praise team, when we're up on stage, we gotta be praising God and meaning everything we say
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Re: When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

Post  John Kim on Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:35 pm

I think this devo is stressing out the importance of praising God before praying. A lot of the time we would just go right into the prayer without really thinking about talking to God but more of the talking at God. By praising God before praying and worshiping Him, we will be able to take the time to thank Him and truly appreciate Him for everything he has done for us. God wants us to be in the right mind set of worshiping Him when we do, and praising Him is the way to start. What we should be careful of though is that when we praise, to do it willingly and whole-heartedly and not as something that we just do to get over with. We should always be focused solely on God and nothing else when praising Him, and putting all of our distractions aside.

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Re: When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

Post  Audrey Jong on Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:42 pm

In prayers, some people only pray for one thing. For me, it's usually before I eat or before I start an exam or something. I tend to just casually talk to him but mainly focus on sharing my thoughts with someone.
But It's human nature to want more and focus on ourselves. It's rare for us to acknowledge what we already have around us.
I've once gotten into that habit where you end up complaining whenever you pray and that's it.
It's not the right way to talk to your father. We don't have to follow exactly the format that is given the ought the Lord'a prayer, but don't forget the other parts to it.

~Audrey~
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Re: When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

Post  DunNo on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:24 am

Wow, this devo kinda changes the way I think about prayer. On one hand, lots of people suggest making your prayers an open communication between God. Talk to him like you would a friend. But I took that to mean that it's an open communication where I talk about my problems and struggles and ask for help, while he listens. Then a while later, lots of people would say listen to what God is trying to say, so in QT, sometimes I'd sit back and just try to tune my inner-ear into whatever frequency God was speaking on. But this, for some reason, it's never occurred to me. Maybe it's because of the Sunday service format where we kinda separate worship and prayer and message and whatnot, but it's now really crystal clear that even if worship is a lifestyle, our prayers should include praise. Usually, the extent of my praise is thanking Him for what I have like this beautiful day, these people, the yadayad, but really what is praise about? Even while singing praise, I'm definitely among the worst of us, but when do we actually reflect on lyrics? When we lead worship and whatnot, are we singing words or syllables? In the same way, I think it's good to be conscious of what we open our prayers with. Prayer, the open communication between you and God, can be completely made up of praise for Him. After all, that's what we're called to do as his people: worship and praise His name. So yea, kinda went of on a tangent, but this devo really kinda had an epiphany sorta moment for me.
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Re: When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

Post  michellee. on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:48 am

Prayer has always kind of been a "shifty" thing for me, if that word makes somewhat of a sense in this context. Some days when I pray I feel like I'm really in touch with God and communicating wholeheartedly with Him. However, during other times, I feel like my negative emotions, worries, and other external thoughts create unnecessary barriers that build up and crowd around me, and keep me from seeing God, and being with God completely. During these times I feel like the tone of my prayers take a more demanding, demeaning, and degrading tone that makes me all the more stressed during prayer, instead of being hopeful in prayer.
Then I realized that my image of God has to change ENTIRELY. My prayers had different tones because I couldn't see God by a constant image, it always changed and I'd get frustrated. But, I think if you start with praise, it reminds you of who God is, and what's He's done for humanity. If I'm reminded of that image of God, I think I pray with more of a clear, and better understanding of who I'm talking with. We hear the many names of God multiple times, whether it be through Scripture, praise and worship or through a sermon, but we never really take time and step back to think, "That's my God."
I feel that this will awaken any sense of awe for God that has been lying dormant in our heart, souls and bodies. The more we try understand God and His Love for us, the more the eyes of our heart will open and see Him.


12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12


[Only admins are allowed to see this link]
A YT video I saw a while back, kind of relevant to this devotional. A good reminder of who God is just in case for whenever you need it. c:


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Re: When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

Post  jaake kwon on Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:02 am

Mmmm, I think a problem with prayer is that we spend it in a way where we prioritize ourselves.

"Dear God, thank you for giving me this wonderful day. Please HELP/BLESS/GIVE/etc." We spend prayer to ask for something to better our lives, rather than specifically mentioning the idea of even giving praise to God. I feel like this sort of compares to a relationship that a corrupted child would have with his/her stepdad, using the stepdad's resilient will to appeal to the stepchild in any way possible for appealing to his/her every whim. We're sort of bringing relationship to "Me, with you" instead of "You and I, together".

God is working so hard to match himself with Us to the same level. We shouldn't completely wreck him over by going all the way to put ourselves above Him.
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Re: When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

Post  Eunwoo on Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:14 am

I think that when we pray the vast majority of our prayers tend to fall under one of three categories:
The repentance prayer, the request prayer, or the repeated (or at least very similar variation) prayer.
But it's less often that we praise God in our prayers.

When I think of praising God I usually think of praising through music or through actions, but now that I think about it, it's kind of funny that I don't think about actually directly praising Him through communication.

Personally speaking, I usually forget about praying unless I have a definite cause to do so. And so when I do pray, I pray mainly for the purpose of that cause, rather than having a relationship and communicating with God. Praising God in our prayers makes it less focused on us and rather onto God, with whom we are conversing with.


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Re: When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

Post  James on Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:35 am

Having another option to connect with God is always a good thing. Considering that we'll never physically see/feel Him, it's important that we can get our messages across without them being distorted. Whenever I think of praise, I always think of Paul when he reminded the church of Philippi to always rejoice in the Lord. As he showed us that he was able to sing songs to God even though he was strapped up in chains and waiting for his death sentence. He even makes it look easy... If I were the guards, I would've been astonished that Paul would be able to sing hymns to God, in that condition.

"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them." (Acts 16:25)
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Re: When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

Post  julie.ro on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:38 pm

Wow, everyone said everything I wanted to say, so I think repeating it is kinda pointless...
Anyhow, I think we do tend to put ourselves of "higher importance" in our prayer, when it clearly should be God. By praising God in our prayers, I guess we're sort of in a way, flattering him, and by the time all that praise's done, he'll be pleased as punch c:

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Re: When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

Post  Jess Kim on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:56 pm

A lot of people pray when they need or want something from God. What often happens is that we neglect God and then when we really need something we come back to Him with a prayer of repentance and then slip a request into our prayer. I think we should really pray more in thankfulness to God. If we really focus on everything he's given us- we wouldn't ever be able to stop praying to thank God for all his blessings. When we pray we need to stop expecting him to accommodate us, but instead we need to praise God for who he is.

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Re: When You Pray, Begin with Praise - September 25, 2013

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