The LORD’s prayer – Part 1 – Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name
Matthew 6:9 (KJV) After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Like any good piece of mail a good prayer has an address. If you were mailing a letter would you send it without first writing on the envelope and alerting the mailing service to the destination of the intended correspondence? What success would you give of even receiving it back if the front had no destination or sending address? Would you do likewise with an email? It won’t go without a recipient email address and also the same with a fax, without a fax number it will go nowhere. Whilst God is eternal, omnipresent and outside of time and our constraints I would not send anything out without assurance that my intended recipient would receive it.
So Jesus had just finished saying how we should not be doing good deeds in order to be seen to be doing good deeds. (Self-promotion of how spiritual if you will) He used the example of sounding a trumpet whilst giving and now he goes onto a subject very close to his heart which is prayer. If we are praying to flatter men or to impress our peers then think on it like this. Are you actually praying to God or insulting God? I would speculate that it is the latter and I do not know about you but I do not want to be knowingly insulting God. What Jesus said was like all aspects of conviction Jesus did not say this to make others feel bad, he said it as an exhortation and now he wishes to teach on how to do it according to the fathers will. He was not interested in condemnation but correction in this case. Whether we choose to be condemned or corrected is completely up to us.
When we are praying we need to remember the wisdom that we find in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 5 verse 2 which reads…
Ecclesiastes 5:2 (KJV) Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
It is a conversation between God and you and in the same way that you would not babble with your best friend I would heed the example in Ecclesiastes that states do not do lengthy prayers for the sake of being heard, be real with God and be honest, let him see what he already sees in your heart is in your prayer life. What a glory to your relationship with God if you are willing to submit that much that you are in such submission that you let everything go and let it all out. That is true Christianity there and you would really be a man after God’s own heart.
Jesus addresses God as the “Father” we are praying to a loving father who has allowed us into a relationship to call him a title that is family. The Jews would consider that too close, too intimate and they would have a hard time with this. He is a father in heaven, ruler, full of majesty who is worthy of all glory, honor and attributed to all holiness. He is called “Our Father” which gives us all access to the same father; it is like we are in our churches, a community of believers that have a direct line to heaven, it reminds me of the lyrics of the song “What a friend we have in Jesus” when it states…
“All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!”
Jesus closes by giving due respect to the name of God. “Hallowed by your name” comes all the way back to Exodus 20:7 where we are told to not use the name of the LORD in vain. Jesus does his job by guarding the good name of God and reminding us that His name is holy. It should be hallowed. It speaks of separation from profane things, dedicated to God, consecrated, purify, to be cleansed, it is sometimes translated as “sanctified” and by using this word we are reminded that there is no spot or blemish on the name of God. His name should be treated with absolute care. (Greek word – hagiazo)
Jesus knows what he is talking about as far as the name of God goes, he was there at the beginning of creation and even when we are tried beyond what we can bear, God is still God and he will still be holy and just, his ways are far above our ways and I doubt many of us will ever suffer as Job suffered and in the book of Job at the end of the book Job challenges God on his plan for Job’s life and let’s look at the response…
Job 38:1 (KJV) Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. 4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? 9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, 10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, 11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? 12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; 13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
Regardless of how “high and mighty” we think we are with God we could not hold a candle to who God is. Even the smartest intellects of man still have not been able to create as God did. His name is holy and deserves to be hallowed.
I pray that this article has been educational, challenging, convicting and exhorting, I pray that you received it well and please feel free to like, share and comment on whatever social media you wish as the LORD leads you too.