Thy Name Is to Be Praised
Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name
We have been reciting this form of prayer ritualistically for a long time. But Jesus Christ really meant that we should just follow this prayer pattern. So we must learn how to pray effectively, and how to pray a longer prayer through the pattern of the Lord's Prayer.
I am praying regularly three times a day; in the morning, during the daytime and in the evening. I am always modelling my prayer according to the Lord's prayer. I never get tired of my prayer life because I follow after the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our prayer must be directed to God. Many people come to the Lord and right away they ask God to do something for them. That is not the right kind of prayer.
Our prayer must be directed to the heavenly Father, and His son Jesus Christ. When we direct our prayer to God, we should start praising and thanking God. Praise has tremendous power. When I don't have enough time to pray yet have a great job to do, I never ask God to help me, but I just begin praising Him during that short period.
Praise opens the door of heaven and right away pulls the power of God into our lives. I can't stress the importance of praise too strongly. Every morning when I begin to pray, I spend quality time praising God and thanking God.
Whenever I begin to praise and thank God, right away I feel the Holy Spirit becoming vibrant in my soul. The Holy Spirit immediately responds to my praise and thankfulness. I feel rejuvenated in my spirit, soul and body.
In these days, we must develop the technique of how to praise God and thank God more. Praise is the most important thing in your prayer. When I pray, I begin, "Oh heavenly Father, I thank You for Your redeeming grace through Jesus Christ. Oh Father, You are a great God. I love You. I praise You. I thank You. I am moved by You. I worship You. I adore You."
I take enough time to praise our heavenly Father. Every day I am trying to find a different method of praising God in an even greater way and trying to find the proper language to praise God. I want to make God very great in my life through my words of praise.
Many people make God very small in their lives because they lack the praising language. Consequently, they are overpowered and dominated by the problems of life.
I keep trying to find a language that will make God great in my praise. The more I use beautiful language praising God in a greater way, the greater faith I can feel in my heart. So I say, "Oh God, You created heaven. Then You created the heaven of heavens. Then You created the wonderful sun, moon and stars... look at those stars... billions and billions of them. You are a great God. You are a fantastic God. I praise You greatly."
Then the presence of God just overwhelms my whole being. Then I continue praising God. "God, You are so exquisite. You so delicately make all the flowers, birds, trees, and all living things."
I saturate my mind with the tremendously great presence of God. Then I turn to our Lord Jesus Christ. I say, "Dear Jesus, I love You. Oh, I praise You. How You loved me so much! I really appreciate You. You died in my place on the cross. You suffered tremendously for my salvation. I thank You for Your torn flesh.
I appreciate Your shed Blood.
I thank You for Your suffering. I thank You for the gift of righteousness. I thank You for Thy Holy Spirit. I thank You for Thy divine healing. I thank You for Your special redemption from the curse. I thank You for eternal life. I thank You for Your second coming. I appreciate You, Jesus. I thank You because You are interceding for me even now on the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus, You are my Saviour and I appreciate You. I praise Your name, and I proclaim Your name."
Then I turn to the Holy Spirit. "Dear Holy Spirit, You are with me and You are within me. You are my comforter. You have been sent to help me every day. I appreciate You. You are my lawyer. You are my revealer. You are my teacher who also disciplines me. You always guide me. You always strengthen me. I thank You for Your wisdom and knowledge. I appreciate You dear Holy Spirit. Oh, I welcome You, and appreciate You. I love You. I recognise You. I depend upon You. I will follow You. Oh, I praise You."
Then I say, "Oh, dear triune God, I worship You. I praise You."
Beautiful poetic language is very important in praying. Do you know why God loved David so much? David was a poet and he used beautiful poetic language in praising God and expressing his love for God.
Likewise, we too must use beautiful and wonderful language in our prayer and praise to describe God's personality.
For a long time in my ministry, I did not care about any special language in praising God. Having been in the ministry for 33 years, the longer I stay in the ministry, the more I feel the necessity of a beautiful abundant vocabulary describing God and praising Him.
When I begin to use delicate and beautiful language in praising God, I feel the impact of the Holy Spirit within me in a greater way. Many people are using very simple ugly language. I used to pray that way but not any more. I am trying to use very, very delicate Korean phrases in praising God.
So I praise the heavenly Father, I praise the Lord Jesus Christ, and I praise the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I take such a long time in praising God that I don't have any time left to pray the other part of my prayer.
When I finish praising the triune God, then I begin to recite each name of our heavenly Father, and I keep on praising because the Bible says in this manner pray, "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name."
In the Bible, there are seven redemptive names of our God "Yahweh". The first name of our heavenly Father is JEHOVAH-JIREH. I say, "Jehovah-Jireh, I praise Your name. You are providing all of my needs. You know everything ahead of time, and You prepare everything for me. So I put my trust in You. Oh, I praise You. I thank You, my Yahweh-Jireh."
The second name is YAHWEH-ROPHE. "I love You, Yahweh-Rophe, I praise You. You are my healer. You heal my spirit. You heal my mind. You heal my body. You heal my home. You are the great healer. I bask myself under Your healing light. I appreciate You. You are a great healer. Let Your healing power flow through my life. Let people get healed through my ministry.”
The third name is YAHWEH-NISSI. "I appreciate You. You are my banner. You are fighting for me. War belongs to You. I don't need to fight. You are fighting in my place. You put up the banner of victory in my life. I praise You, oh God. I thank You. I do believe that I am going to be victorious throughout my life because Your name is Yahweh-Nissi."
The fourth name is YAHWEH-SHALOM. "You are my peace. Everyday I have Your peace in my heart. May I bring this news of peace throughout the world. Only Your presence brings peace. I appreciate You and thank You for Your peace. I praise God for His abundant peace in my life."
The fifth name is YAHWEH-ROHI. "My God, You are my shepherd. You have been leading my life through the green pastures. You have every power and authority to lead me through the rest of my life, so I praise You. I have many things to worry about, but I don't try to hinder Your work by my own power because You are my shepherd. I put all things in Your hand. Through Your Power and wisdom, You are solving everything for me."
Many times my mind becomes overwhelmed with all the programs of my church, but when I come to my Shepherd, I say, "Yahweh-Rohi, You are my shepherd; I put all things in Your hand. The work belongs to You, not to me, this is Your work. I am not trying to make decisions concerning Your work. I am just Your manager. You direct me, and You put all this wisdom and knowledge in my mind to handle all the business." I praise God because He is my shepherd.
The sixth name is YAHWEH-TSIDKENU. "Your name is righteous. I do not have my own righteousness. I praise Your name because I have this righteousness in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Through this righteousness I have peace and joy in my life, and I praise God for that."
The seventh name is YAHWEH-SHAMMAH. "My heavenly Father, You are always with me. Your name is Yahweh-Shammah, and Your presence is always with me. I may leave You, but You will never leave me. I praise Your name. I thank You. I worship You."
We are called to minister unto God. Ministry unto God must come ahead of ministry unto the people.
Many times in my praying, I don't even mention the needs of my own life and the needs of the people. God already knows those needs. If I have enough time left after praising God, then I pray for the needs of my congregation and myself.
My main concern is how to praise God, and how to make Him very great in my life. Make God big in your life. God is as big in your life as you make Him, or as small in your life as you make Him. You can make God bigger in your life by praising Him in a great way. So spend more time praising God in your own language, and make Him very big in your life. Then the heavens shall be opened, and God's power will come up into your life. If you develop this manner of praising God, you will be used powerfully by God in your ministry.
by David Yonggi Cho
Source: "Church Growth", Autumn 1992