NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies For Life curriculum.
Bible Passages: Matthew 6:9, Psalm 96:1-9
— What’s a name you associate with greatness?
— Where do you see God’s splendor and majesty at work in the world today?
— Which one of the qualities of God mentioned in Psalm 96:4-6 motivates you to worship Him? Why?
Food for Thought:
In the model prayer, Jesus directs us to place praise at the beginning of our time with God. Jesus could have said much more about the subject, but He chose only one core value of praise: honoring the name of God. These words serve as a model for all future praise. Since Jesus started with this phrase, we should dive as deep toward the bottom of this ocean of truth as possible.
When Jesus taught us to praise, He did so by exalting God, whose name is honored as holy. We’re not praying God’s name will be made holy. Instead, our prayers are to acknowledge His name is already holy. Praise exalts the attributes and qualities of God.
Psalm 96 is a good example of a declaration of praise that exalts God. We can exalt Him in two ways:
— Praise the greatness of God. In Psalm 96, the psalmist focused his praise on the greatness of God. He knew God is greater than any of the false gods. He called them gods, but they are not really gods; they’re mere idols. People made these other gods, “but the LORD made the heavens” (v. 5). How can there be any comparison between the two? God is unmatched.
— Praise the beauty of God. “Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary” (v. 6). In the same way, the psalmist reminds us to seek the God who is surrounded by such beauty. Splendor is a Hebrew word embodying the concept of someone’s (or something’s) grand appearance. This word always describes something of great value. The psalmist was offering an invitation for us to look at God because He is filled with splendor and beauty. In a world of ugliness and broken things, God is splendid and we ought to let that image of Him seep deeply into our consciousness.
We pray to the God who is full of majesty, strength, and beauty. He’s a welcome relief for our weariness. The world is brutal; God is beautiful. The nations are merciless; God is majestic in His mercy. People are full of petty self-interest; God is full of splendor. Seeing God for who He is leads us to praise because no one else is like Him!
Praise elevates our own awareness of God as few other activities can do. For this reason — and because God deserves it — we should excel in the prayer of praise. How will you seek to honor God with your prayers?
Bible Studies for Life
Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God’s Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the Internet at www.biblestudiesforlife.com.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Stores.