‘When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’’ Luke 11:1b
We cannot thank God enough that in His wisdom He gave us so many prayers in the Bible by people who really knew Him. Here too, we read such a great prayer, a prayer in the Spirit of God. Jeremiah knew that without worship there can be no communion of prayer with God. ‘Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You’ (Psalm 89:15a).
Almost every prayer that is written in the Bible begins with the worship of God. Let us learn from this and when we pray, let us too begin by worshiping God. And how can we worship God more than by mentioning all the great things we know about Him from the Bible? Jeremiah did that too. His prayer is almost exclusively devoted to recalling the greatness of God.
Why is it so wholesome to start with genuine praise when we pray?
When we go to God with all our heart, then we do not approach some unknown, vague deity, but the living and true God. And when we have His great deeds clearly in mind again, then all vagueness that might still linger, will disappear. In our worship His greatness and magnificence increase, and we become smaller and more dependent. Then a great joy and trust come upon us. And God promised that if our hearts are fully committed to Him, He will strengthen us (2 Chronicles 16:9). It is truly worthwhile to ask first of all: ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ For when we learn to pray like this, Jesus promises us: ‘Ask and it will be given to you’ (Matthew 7:7a).