Prayer is one of those things that seems like anyone can do it. When it comes to actually praying, however, many of us are at a loss of how to do it without sounding like we are fumbling in the dark.
We can look to God’s Word to answer the question how and why we should pray. When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, Jesus said, “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” (Matt. 6:9, NASB). This is the beginning of what is often referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer,” or “The Model Prayer.” Sometimes familiarity with teaching like this can cause us to miss the significance of it. Let’s take a moment to look at this one verse, which set the stage for the rest of the prayer.
OUR GOD IS POPULAR — Our Father
I will admit that often in my life I get focused on myself. I think of salvation in terms of God saving ME. I think of holy living as it relates to what I should and shouldn’t do. I have to spend so much time working out my own salvation with fear and trembling, that it is easy to lose sight of what God has really done and is doing.
Recently, I was driving and thinking about my dad. He passed away on my birthday in 2016, after a short battle with cancer. I was missing him, so of course, I was sad; however, my emotion soon changed from sadness to gratitude. My emotion changed, because of salvation. Not just God saving ME, but our God saves! That’s Who He is! Our God has always planned to save a multitude of people from all nations, tribes and tongues. God is not just in the business of saving me, but saving people. I will see my dad again. This is only possible, because our God saves. My dad was a believer (and still is, for that matter). Thanks to faith in Jesus, God is not just my Father, but our Father.
[tweet_box design=”default”]God is not just in the business of saving me, but saving people.[/tweet_box]
OUR GOD IS PERSONAL — Father
Jesus instructed His disciples to address God as Father. Of course, it makes sense for Jesus to do it. He is the only begotten Son of God, but He instructs His followers to do so as well. Wow! In Christ, we can go to the God of the Universe and address Him as “Father.”
I have two children. I am not a perfect father, but I want them to come to me when they need something. I often know what they need, before they do, but there is something about having your children ask you for something and being able to provide for them. How much greater does it delight our Perfect Father Who is able to provide for His children (Matt. 7:11)? As believers pray, we are not clamoring to get the attention of a stranger. We are addressing our God as Father. He is good and able to provide all that we need and He delights in doing so.
[tweet_box design=”default”]As believers pray, we are not clamoring to get the attention of a stranger. We are addressing our God as Father. [/tweet_box]
OUR GOD IS POWERFUL — Who is in heaven
Ecclesiastes 5:2 says, “Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore, let your words be few.”
Jesus does instruct us to address God as Father, but we are also reminded that He is the Almighty Creator of the Universe and the One Who sustains all existence. He is highly exalted in heaven. Our words and motives should reflect this as we enter into His presence in prayer.
OUR GOD IS PURPOSEFUL — Hallowed be Your name
The word hallowed means to treat as holy, to reverence. God’s name is not, should not, and will not be treated as common. God has always been concerned with the glory of His name (Isaiah 42:8; 48:11). Jesus instructs His disciples to pray in accord with what God has always done and will always do. God created perfectly. His creatures sinned against Him and caused the curse to corrupt what He has done. Since the fall of man into sin, God has been revealing and completing His plan of redemption.
God’s is redeeming His people from the inside out. He is exalting Himself in all of His people. When we pray that God would make His name hallowed, We want Him to remove everything in our lives that is contrary to His exaltation. Conversely, we long for Him to exalt Himself, not only in our own hearts, but in all things (Col. 3:11).
Jesus teaches that our prayers should long for God to be honored with reverence by His creatures. With that as a starting place for our prayers, all of our other wants, needs and desires are brought into line with the will of God for His glory and the good of His children. Our God is popular, personal, powerful and purposeful! As Jesus taught us how to pray to Him, we can also understand why we go to Him!
[tweet_box design=”default”]Our God is popular, personal, powerful and purposeful! As Jesus taught us how to pray to Him, we can also understand why we go to Him![/tweet_box]
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