Jesus gave us an example of how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4. We call it the Lord’s Prayer. It starts like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name . . . ”
Hallow means to honour or praise as holy. So another way to say this prayer is: “Father God, who lives in heaven, Your name is AWESOME, You are wonderful, may everyone realise this and know that You are holy!” That is what it means to hallow His name! There are many reasons to praise God.
How do you feel when someone praises you for something you did? “Great job on that book report!” your teacher says. “You did an excellent job cleaning your room,” your dad comments. “I love you just for who you are!” your mom says. It makes us feel happy when those close to us say nice things to us. That is called praise. God is no different. He loves to hear you praise Him! He wants to have a relationship with you just like a friend. Praising Him helps you to know Him better and by doing this, you basically say: “Father, You are more important than anyone or anything else.”
DID YOU KNOW God says that when we praise Him, it has power over His and our enemies? One example of this in the Old Testament was when Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, went into battle and he put a bunch of singers at the front of his army. They were singing praises to God. As they went, the enemy soldiers started to kill each other. Jehoshaphat’s army did not even have to fight (read 2 Chronicles 20:21-23), because God fought for them. That is the power of praising God!
DID YOU KNOW that praise is a form of prayer? When we pray, we are simply talking to God. When we praise God, we are also praying. Even when we are singing songs of praise to God, we are praying. We are telling God how wonderful He is. By praying “hallowed be Your name”, we are telling Him how awesome and great He is. We are showing awe and honouring God when we praise Him. Because praise is so important, we should praise God when we pray.
DID YOU KNOW, while it is not a rule, it is still good to start your prayer with praising God? It does not matter if things in your life are great or not so great— you can still praise God! When you praise God no matter what your mood is at the time, you “exalt” (another word for praise) Him or hallow Him simply for who He is. To pray this way, think about descriptions of God such as: Rock (He never changes; He is solid and powerful), Jehovah-Jireh (He is our Provider; He supplies our needs), or Omnipresent (God is everywhere) and Omniscient (He knows everything).
DID YOU KNOW praise is powerful? Look for creative ways everyday to praise God with your friends! Sing songs together at school or when visiting each other. You can also ask someone to read Psalm 100 to you. Then try to sing it, making up your own words and melody!