Now what is the purpose of prayer? We’re coming full circle. Why does God want you to have victory over Satan? Because His is the glory. Why do you pray? To give God the glory. Now notice. “For thine is . . . the glory . . .” Pay close attention. When your reason for asking and God’s reason for giving are the same, your prayer will be answered. “For thine is . . . the glory . . .” Learn to give glory to God. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
I love the way this prayer ends because of how it begins: “Our Father . . .”
Notice how it ends: “Thine is the kingdom . . .” Our Father is the King.
When I was getting ready to go off to college, my dad said, “Adrian, I’m happy you’re going to college. I wish I could pay your way through college, but I can’t.” I said, “That’s all right, Dad. God’s called me to preach, and He’s going to see me through.” And He did! But my heavenly Father will never have to say to me, “Adrian, there’s something I’d like to do for you, but I just can’t.” Friend, our Father is a King. We have the sympathy of a Father and the sovereignty of a King. “Our Father . . .” “Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever.” This prayer begins with praise. It ends with praise. And if you run out of things to pray for, just begin to praise and you’ll have an ocean to swim in.
Here are five very practical, but wonderful reasons for learning to praise the Lord. And, if you’ll do it, I’ll guarantee it will change your life.
Praise Glorifies Our God
Psalm 147:1 says: “Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant”—now, watch this—“and praise is comely.” What that literally means is that praise is appropriate; it is the appropriate thing to praise God. If you’ll study the created universe, you’ll find out that everything that God has created has been created to bring Him glory.
Psalm 145:10 says: “All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.” Psalm 148:1–5: “Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise . . . him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise . . . him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.” The entire universe of things, living and non-living, is to be one great, grand chorus and paean of praise to our great God. Do you know what the highest occupation of the angels is? It is praising God.
“We have the sympathy of a Father and the sovereignty of a King.”
Now, why does praise glorify God? Well, the very word worship, comes from the Old English worth-ship. The way you praise God tells me what you think of God. Very frankly, the way you praise God tells me what God is worth to you; it tells God what He is worth to you. Praise glorifies God. He is worthy of our praise.
Have you ever heard a person take God’s name in vain in some profane curse? Doesn’t that just rip your heart out? It grieves me to hear people use profanity, and I’ll tell you why: because profanity degrades God. Sometimes a person will curse, and you remonstrate with them about it; and they say, “Well, I didn’t mean anything by it.” I say, “Well, that makes it doubly worse—that you could take the name of the thrice holy God of Israel and not mean anything by it.” You see, profanity degrades God; praise glorifies God. That’s the first reason: praise glorifies our God.
Praise Heals Our Hurts
Not only does praise glorify our God, but praise heals our hurts. “The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel”—that is, those who are broken, and wounded, and bruised, and bleeding. He just puts His arms around them—“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” (Ps. 147:2–3).
Now, let me tell you what God gave to you: God gave you a body, a soul, and a spirit. Each one has a function. The function of the body is obvious: the body is the spacesuit we wear so we can live on planet Earth and we can express ourselves. The soul is the mind, the emotion, and the will that lives inside of this body that motivates this body, that drives this body, and gives it direction. The spirit is the organ of praise created to praise God, to know God, to reverence God. You are body, soul, and spirit.
One particular Sunday afternoon I was sitting in my recliner chair. I had already preached three times that morning and made a visit after lunch. And, I got in that chair, and, frankly, it felt good and my body liked it. When it was time to go back to church for the evening service, my body said, “I want to stay in this chair.” That’s what my body said. I also need to mention that it was Super Bowl Sunday and the game was coming on soon. My soul said, “I want to watch the Super Bowl.” But my spirit said, “I want to go to church and worship God.” Now, the spirit is the organ of praise, and my spirit said to soul, “Soul, we’re going to church.” And, my soul said to my body, “Get up!” And that’s the way it ought to be.
There’s a chain of command. Now, when a man is overridden by his soul, he’s carnal. When he’s overridden by his body, he’s not worth shooting. And, some are actually slaves to their body. But, my dear friend, the spirit is to have control. And the function of your spirit is to praise. And, dear friend, the highest function that the human spirit can attain is to praise God. That’s why God created you.
Now, I said that praise heals our hurts. Did you know that we have a lot of Christians in mental institutions? We have Christians—some of them taking tranquilizers like salted peanuts. They have mental and nervous disorders. Now, sometimes there are reasons for that, and nobody is to be blamed for it. There, indeed, are chemical imbalances. There are physiological reasons. And, I want to tell you something, friend: proper praise could almost put some psychiatrists out of business. I’m telling you the truth. A lot of our mental and nervous disorders would disappear if we learned how to praise.
And why is that? Why does praise not only glorify God and heal our hurts as well? “He healeth the broken in heart and [He] bindeth up their wounds” (Ps. 147:3). Why? Well, I’ll tell you what carnality is and what most of our mental disorders are caused by: it is an over-occupation with our personal egos. We get self-centered. And, when one gets extremely self-centered, do you know what happens? Do you know what the next step of being extremely self-centered is? It’s to be defensive. A self-centered person is always a defensive person; he’s always defending himself. And do you know what happens when a person gets overly defensive? He becomes hostile. In order to defend himself, he feels like he has to be hostile toward you. And do you know what happens when a person gets hostile? He becomes aggressive. You see, anybody who is self-centered rather than God-centered is self-destructive.
In Luke 9:24, Jesus said, “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” Do you want to save your life? Well, dear friend, just lose it. Give yourself to God in praise, and you’re going to find out that, rather than being self-centered and defensive and hostile and aggressive, that the spiritual juices are going to begin to flow in your heart. You see, you cannot genuinely praise God without relinquishing that self-centeredness. There’s no way that you can do it. When praise becomes a way of life, the infinitely lovely God becomes the center of your self—the center of your being—rather than your bankrupt self.
There is nothing so empty as a self-centered life. There is nothing so centered as a self-emptied life. And we need to learn to praise God. It just heals our hearts. You can’t praise and sulk at the same time. Praise and irritation cannot coexist. Praise and pride cannot live together. In Isaiah 61:3, the Bible says that God has given us “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” And, you want to cast off that spirit of heaviness? Put on the garment of praise. What does praise do? Number one: it glorifies God. Number two: it heals our hurts. Friend, praise will do more for you than any psychiatrist or psychologist can do for you. I’m not against these people. We have some lovely people in our church who do a wonderful job helping people. But they, too, would say, “Praise is a marvelous, wonderful tool for healing the human spirit.”
Adrian Rogers and Steve Rogers, When We Say Father: Unlocking the Power of the Lord’s Prayer (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2018).