Daily Reflections

The Priority of Praise

April 18, 2023 Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

[Jesus] was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” —Luke 11:1

The Lord’s Prayer is much more than a way to pray. Jesus was teaching the way to live and think.

The prayer begins with, “Our Father in heaven” (Matt. 6:9). It starts with worship. In this model prayer, Jesus taught that praise should pre- cede petition. This is the pattern of prayers all through Scripture. Prayer before petition; worship before asking.

Only after focusing on God and His glory did Jesus move on to other requests. There are no personal pronouns in this first part of the Lord’s Prayer because it’s all ultimately about our heavenly Father—His name, His kingdom, His will.

Before we pray for our own needs and concerns, we need to pray for God’s concerns. Our instinct is to start with requests that are urgent or foremost on our hearts. But according to the way Jesus taught, there’s a better starting place. No matter how urgent or desperate our petition, the starting place is our Father.

Make it Personal

What does your prayer life say about your priorities?