Monday, May 12, 2014

Praying Like Jesus: Praising God

Hebrews 5:7 "In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety." 

As we have surveyed the prayer-life of Jesus up to this point, our aim has been in praying like Him. The reasoning behind this study is simple: in praying like Jesus our consistency and effectiveness in prayer will increase. Thus far we have considered the following seven traits of Jesus' prayer-life: 

1. Priority & power
2. Fellowship of prayer
3. Prayer in our decisions
4. Praying for one's enemies
5. Thankfulness
6. Encouraging others to pray 
7. Praying for the salvation of unbelievers.

In today's post we focus on another very important trait of what it means to pray like Jesus - praising the Father. Luke records by Divine inspiration these words in Luke 10:21 "At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, 'I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight." Now why was Jesus praising the Father? In the context of Luke 10, seventy of Jesus' followers had been sent out with instructions on how to minister and perform miracles in Jesus' name. Nothing thrills the Lord more than when His people do His bidding and do it with joy! In Luke 10:1-20 we see the seventy go out and then return with exceeding joy on the success that attended their ministry.

Jesus' instructions to them and delegation of authority was the reason for their success. Yet what we see Jesus doing in Luke 10:21 speaks volumes as to why His instructions and delegation to those seventy disciples was successful - because He gave credit to the Father. The life of praise to God is like a fountain that spills over into the attitudes and the activities of the person. Praising God in prayer has the effect of transforming both the person and those around them. Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us that "the joy of the Lord is our strength". Philippians 4:4 adds to the previous thought by connecting our praise with God to His power and peace in Philippians 4:5-9. When praise is the tone of our prayers, all of the other elements studied thus far in this blog series will take its cue. Jesus' prayer life was regulated by His joy and praise of the Father.

Point of Application: When you and I praise the Lord in our prayer times, prayer automatically goes from being a duty to a delight. Jesus was a joyful man - and it shows! When you and I are joyful on the inside, it will show on the outside. Joy carries with it a sense of calmness and certainty that is missing in our world. May you and I pray like Jesus by praising the Father!

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