Introduction: Praise God! Just past midnight, a fire broke out in
the first of a line of six townhouses between where I live and the
beach. A strong wind drove the fire so that it quickly consumed one
townhouse after another. I was certain that our condominium, which
was only 15 feet from the last townhouse, was doomed. My wife,
daughter and I prayed, the firefighters battled the flames, and the
fire was stopped at the last townhouse! The fire even burned a hole
in the fence between the townhouse and our condominium! Our hearts
are filled with intense gratitude and praise. Let’s explore what
the Bible teaches us about praise from His people!

  1. Model Praise

    1. Read Luke 11:1. Look deeper into the disciple’s request.
      What was He asking Jesus? (How should he address God?
      What should he say when speaking to God?)

    2. Read Luke 11:2. What is the first point that Jesus tells
      us to make when addressing God? (Holy is Your name. The
      first point is to praise God!)

    3. Read Matthew 6:10. What does this part of the Lord’s
      prayer assume? (That a conflict exists between good and
      evil. God’s heaven is coming to earth to solve that

      1. Is there a praise in this? (Yes! God has a superior
        way of life. God’s superior way of life will prevail
        – and we are asking that this happen now.)

      2. Step back a moment. What praise opportunity do we
        find in the conflict and the coming Kingdom of God?
        (If I am praying that God’s will be done on earth,
        then I am seeking to have my thinking and my actions
        aligned with God’s side of the conflict. Therefore,
        my thoughts and actions should bring glory to God.
        If so, that is one type of praise to God.)

    4. Read Matthew 6:11. Is there any praise aspect to this?
      (We acknowledge God as the source of our existence, the
      provider of our daily needs.)

      1. What praise habits do you have in connection with
        your “daily bread?” (It is proper to thank God
        before we eat. This is part of a life of praise.)

    5. Read Matthew 6:12. Thinking of my sins is discouraging.
      Is there a praise opportunity in this? (Jesus is not
      asking us to dwell on our sins, He is asking us to dwell
      on the opportunity for forgiveness. This is one of the
      most powerful motives for praise – our God died for us to
      allow us to escape the death penalty for our sins.)

      1. Notice that asking forgiveness for our sins is not
        what Jesus mentions first in this model prayer. Why
        is that? (Some Christians think we should soberly
        dwell on our sins. Jesus starts out with praise for
        God and only (much) later gets to the topic of our

      2. The second part of this phrase mentions forgiving
        those who have sinned against us. Can you find a
        praise in this? (Having an attitude of forgiveness
        towards those who have sinned against us, reflects
        God’s love. In this way we give glory to God for
        forgiving our sins.)

    6. Read Matthew 6:13 and James 1:13-15. How can you
      reconcile these two seemingly contradictory texts?

      1. Read Psalms 141:4. How does this shed more light on
        the issue? (David says “don’t let me be sucked into
        evil.” James explains that God does not “lead” us
        into temptation. But, God does aid us in escaping
        from temptation and from evil. I think Jesus is
        praying that God will stop us at the earliest point
        of temptation.)

      2. If you prayed “lead us not into temptation,” what
        would you be seeking from God? (To give us the right
        desires and to help us control our evil desires.)

        1. How does that deliver us from evil? (Again,
          James tells us that we do not accidentally fall
          into the pit of sin. Instead, it is a process
          that begins with evil desires. If, by the power
          of the Holy Spirit, we get our thoughts under
          control, we will avoid the evil consequences
          that flow from our sins.)

      3. How else does God deliver us from evil? (How about
        the fire that stopped just short of my condominium!
        See Psalms 91:9-11. But see Hebrews 11:35-38. We are
        right to praise God for deliverance from the evils
        of life. We should pray for this deliverance.)

  2. David’s Praise

    1. The Bible records many of King David’s praises. Let’s
      study the one he gave at the end of his life. Why would
      that be the best praise to consider? (You have the
      perspective of time and experience – a life lived within
      and outside the will of God.)

    2. Read 1 Chronicles 29:10. What reason does David give for
      praising God? (In these lines David praises God for who
      He is.)

      1. How does this compare with Matthew 6:9? (Jesus and
        David start their praise in precisely the same way –
        praising God for who He is.)

    3. Read 1 Chronicles 29:11. What about God is David praising
      here? (God is King of heaven and earth.)

      1. How does that compare with Matthew 6:10? (Again,
        this parallels the Lord’s prayer.)

    4. Read 1 Chronicles 29:12-13. What other reasons does David
      give for praising God? (David next praises God for
      sharing His honor, wealth and glory with us.)

    5. Read 1 Chronicles 29:14-15. Why is God’s generosity to us
      so shocking? (Presents are often given to encourage the
      person receiving the gift to do something good in return.
      We have nothing to give God that He has not first given

      1. Have you ever heard of re-gifting?

      2. Read Matthew 6:11. What parallel do with find with
        David’s praise? (Both Jesus and David encourage us
        to praise God for giving material blessings to us.)

    6. Read 1 Chronicles 29:17-18. What parallels do you find in
      Matthew 6:13? (Both speak of a life of integrity. We
      praise God by obedience to His will.)

  3. Times of Praise

    1. Read Psalms 92:1-3. When should we praise God? (Every
      day! In the morning and the evening.)

      1. What has music to do with praise? (Music is one of
        the best vehicles, in my experience, for lifting my
        heart in praise to God.)

    2. Read Exodus 20:8-11. What connection does the Sabbath
      have to praise? (Sabbath is a special time when we praise
      God for being the Creator of heaven and earth.)

      1. How does this relate to Matthew 6:10: “Your kingdom
        come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in
        heaven?” (Sabbath is not only a time to celebrate
        God’s historic act of creation, it is a time to
        celebrate God’s coming recreation. We celebrate the
        time when God’s will be done on earth, as it is in

    3. Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. What does it mean to
      “proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes?” (I don’t
      think this is simply telling the story. I think this
      includes an element of praise. When we celebrate
      Communion/the Lord’s Supper/Eucharist, we are praising
      God for His victory over sin and death by His death on
      our behalf!)

    4. Friend, do you live in an atmosphere of praise? Do you
      pray the Lord’s Prayer and consider the praise in it? Do
      you praise God in the morning, the evening and before
      every meal? Do you set aside the holy Sabbath for praise?
      Do you celebrate the Lord’s Supper as praise for the
      victory of the Kingdom of God on earth? If not, why not
      determine today to live fully in the atmosphere of

  4. Next week: Temperance.