And the Levites – Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah – said: ‘Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. ’‘Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. NIV

Reading through these opening verses again, as a prelude to verse 5, it underlined for me how deeply serious these people were in their coming to God. Here is a rebuke to our often casual, and even careless, approach to ‘worship’. In fact, I heard a wise, seasoned leader say in a recent interview, that one of his greatest concerns about the contemporary church is that we have turned worship into a form of entertainment.

If the Lord’s prayer is, as we often say, a ‘pattern prayer’ (and I have no good reason to think otherwise), then we see in it that praise comes first; the glory and honour of God, the hallowing of His Name takes priority. This is a pattern we see elsewhere in the Bible. Praise should be first and foremost. Say ‘thank you’ before ‘please’. Here, they were not only praising God but also praying for Him to be greatly praised. The ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ were all wrapped up together.

‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ (The Westminster Shorter Catechism)

PRAYER: Lord God, may the prayer ‘Hallowed be your Name’ be my supreme prayer, and the deep longing behind every other request I bring to you.