If we look at our prayers we find them fairly heavy on the supplication (requests) side. We tend to jump to our requests without thanksgiving or praise ever entering into the picture. Yet we are supposed to make requests known to God while giving thanks to Him (Phil 4:6-7). That we do sometimes. But rarely do we stop to give the Trinitarian God praise for who He is in Himself. The way Jesus taught us. Mostly it’s tied to how he has provided. Not bad, but that’s not praise. That’s thanksgiving.
When I was reading through John 14 today, I saw something that I rarely if ever praise Jesus for. He says, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father….” (John 14:30-31)
Sometimes I praise God the Father for His love for us. Sometimes I praise Jesus (God the Son) for his love for us. I don’t think that I praise Jesus for His love for His Father. Yet his dying on the cross did not simply show the world he loved those whom he died for, the cross manifests His obedient love for His Father. That often gets overlooked. Jesus’ love for His Father is revealed throughout the book of John and ought to move me to greater praise for Him.
Caveat: Now when I pray for the congregation, I simply make requests known. That’s because in our liturgy (order of worship) we’ve already praised God, already confessed sin, already been assured of our forgiveness, already thanked God. Just wanted to make that clear.