Bryan Jones |

In Matthew 6:9, Jesus teaches us how to PRAISE our heavenly Father.

Jesus at the Center of Prayer
Praise • Message 2
Bryan Jones
October 22, 2023

A. Introduction

We are continuing our series on Jesus at the Center of Prayer… We are looking at the Lord’s Prayer which really has 7 parts to it… Last week we talked about the Proximity of God, that He is our Father… Today we talk about Praise, or Praising God….

Matthew 6:9 (NLT)

“Our Father in heaven,may Your name be kept holy.”

Notice this is a request, it’s a petition, it’s something we are asking God to do…

Notice it says this in the NIV

Matthew 6:9 (NIV)

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,’”

Hallowed is not a word you probably use in your everyday conversations, and it might even sound a little scary. I knew of a guy who grew up in the Catholic Church who said that until he was 8 years old, he thought that God’s name was Howard. He said, We said it every week: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, Howard be Your name.’

Now I really believe the picture we have of God determines our future. For years, I failed to give my whole life to God because He seemed too small… So, notice Jesus has us start off praying our Father… Who is holy, Who is big, Who is mighty… may You make Your name holy to me and the world…

Because each day if I see You as big, it will affect the way I pray and live… Think about it, practically praising God and reminding yourself how big He is, you approach Him with confidence when it comes to your personal requests or what you’re asking…

As well might a gnat seek to drink in the ocean, as a finite creature to comprehend the Eternal God. A God whom we could understand would be no God. If we could grasp Him, He could not be infinite. If we could understand Him, He could not be divine.                                                     R.C. Sproul

So, each morning Jesus is reminding us to praise God and ask that we, and the world, would praise Him…

Praise God for…

  1. Who He is.

Jesus removes the focus from us and turns our attention to God. It’s about Him, His holiness, and His work in the world. Jesus taught us to begin our prayers by recognizing the God to whom we pray. So, we see His value and worth…

But I also want you to see something… the Lord’s Prayer can really be divided into 2 parts:

Our Father in heaven,

 may Your name be kept holy.
May Your Kingdom come soon.
May Your will be done on earth,
 as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:9-10 (NLT)

Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
  as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
 but rescue us from the evil one.

Matthew 6:11-13 (NLT)

Notice the order, it starts off saying Your, Your name, Your kingdom, Your will… then it moves to us… give us daily bread, forgive us…

Now remember when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was… what did He say… how did He answer? Love God and Love others.  When he teaches them to pray he’s teaching them to live the greatest commandment.

Isn't it interesting the first part is about loving God and the second part is about loving others…

Think about how we prioritize our time…


                    How we pray                             How Jesus prays

                         Me                                                  God

                         Others                                            Others

                         God                                                Me

I'm going to let you in on something that’s painful to me… a few years ago I messed up on Easy Mac… I said this to someone who does sermon reviews with me... and they laughed and said it’s called Easy Mac… not helpful…

But I put the cheese in without draining the water… my wife hasn’t let me forget this…. But I say this to say the ingredients in the right order will affect your outcome.

Prayer is the same way… there’s a reason Jesus prioritized prayer this way… It isn’t the more we get our eyes on Jesus for things that seem too important or heavy just get right-sized when you see Him as mighty and big and powerful.

Do you remember when Peter was walking on water? Do you know when he started to sink? It’s when he got his eyes off of Jesus and onto himself. Joy isn’t based on your circumstances; it’s based on Christ alone…

We often think, I’ll be happy when this season is over, or I’ll be happy once I get this new job, or …the house gets finished, or …when I retire, or …when this person praises this thing, or …when I get this thing… Do you know when you will be truly happy? When you will find joy? It’s when you get your eyes off yourself and you see God for who He is, The King of kings and Lord of lords.

I've shared that I used to put my identity in success and achievement… I've always been a go getter… but years ago I  felt like God whispered something that was difficult to hear but so freeing.

Your name will fade one day, but Mine never will… It was like God was saying, stop taking yourself so seriously and start taking Me more seriously… Get your eyes off yourself…

Let me show you a picture. It’s a picture taken by a satellite that was taking a photo of the Milky Way Galaxy. That dot is Earth.

A guy named Carl Sagan saw this and wrote a book called Pale Blue Dot.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel… Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.                               Carl Sagan

This picture will typically have two responses from people.

Insignificance- if your focus is on your accomplishments and achievements, then it makes you feel small because you realize how small we are in the grand scheme of eternity.

Joy- but if your eyes are on God and you know the God who holds galaxies in the palm of His hand. This big God loves and is connected to me. Then it creates joy.

Psalms 8:3-4

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place— what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?

Think about it, two people look at the galaxy Carl Sagan who is an atheist. Gets overwhelmed and writes a book. David looks up and praises God. What you focus on will create your feelings…

Please don’t spend your life worshipping the wrong things.  Pursuing small things… those things won’t last. It’s about waking up to the infinitely more massive God story happening all around you and discovering the invitation to join Him!

Praise God for…

  1. What He has done.

Each day spend time thanking God for who He is, but also for what He has done…

One of the most common things I hear people say is, God, where are You? I have said this, you have or will probably say this, but do you know how you to stop saying this? First, know that is satan trying to get your eyes on the wrong things.

But how do you go through something bad and not have it derail your faith… don’t blame God but if you are going to blame God, you better praise him during the good…

When you start saying daily, there You are, God, you will no longer wonder, where are You, God!

We have to train ourselves, in a consumeristic world to see our many blessings… We cultivate a heart of gratitude in a culture of consumerism…

You will stop stressing when you start counting your blessings daily.

One of the biggest markers of spiritual maturity is gratitude. For years, I excused this based on my wiring and circumstances. Yesterday, I spent the day reflecting on the godliest people I know and there was a common theme… GRATITUDE. In a culture of intellect, wisdom and enlightenment it seems gratitude feels elementary or out of touch to many. Yet, it’s central to the Kingdom of God. I need to grow in this. It’s so easy to be aware of what we don’t have, or what we’ve lost, instead of thanking God for what we have.

We have to train ourselves to become people of gratitude. Remember His faithfulness, so the next time we go through a trial or fire, our confidence and trust goes too.

Praise God each morning for who He is and your blessings…  because the enemy only wants you to focus on what you don’t have… But God wants to release a Spirit of Praise…  A Spirit of Gratitude.

Anxiety is future-oriented. It says what if…what if this doesn’t change? What if I can’t fix this? It creates a downward spiral. We all do this to varying degrees.

Gratitude is what tethers you to the present by saying thank you. I’m convinced greater gratitude produces greater peace. We live with the highest anxiety rates ever in the United States. Yet, it seems like gratitude is lower than ever. When the enemy attacks with worry, stress, or fear then attack back with gratitude! I’m growing in this. It’s hard but gratitude is the way of the kingdom.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 118:24 (NLT)

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Today is the day for gratitude. Take a few minutes. Stop and breathe. Allow your mind to focus on God’s blessings. Thank God. Repeat.

I want to close by just giving you a chance to live out this verse…

Thank God for…

Who He is

Powerful             Father                 All Knowing

Healer                Sustainer             Unending

Savior                 Rescuer               Unchanging

Redeemer           Eternal                Rock     

Holy                    Mighty                Mighty Fortress

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