Pray Like This…. [part 2]
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’ Matthew 6:9-13
This is possibly the most well known pray in the world. People have said this single prayer, possibly every day since Jesus instructed them in it 2000 years ago. But instead of simply memorizing and repeat it, what if we were to cut it apart into its simple statements and examine them?
There are 9 distinct thoughts expressed here:
1. Our Father in Heaven
2. Hallowed be Your Name
3. Your Kingdom Come
4. Your Will be Done
5. On Earth as it is in Heaven
6. Daily Bread
Now obviously it would be a very long post if we looked at each one of these, so instead I want to divide it into sections. Last time we discussed, “Our Father in Heaven” Let’s continue on.
HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME:
Our God is Holy, and Jesus wants us to remember that when we pray. You see, to often our modern culture has lost respect, reverence, and the fear of the Lord. We call God our Homeboy, our Buddy, Our pal, and we treat Him as such. However, while He is “Our Father” and “Our Friend,” this doesn’t diminish His Holiness.
I remember when I was a child, I could say anything to my Grandfather, (I didn’t have a dad as a child) But, anything I said, I had to say with respect and honor. We joked, we laughed, and we loved, but if I forgot my place and I said something in a manner that was disrespectful, I got in trouble. I got disciplined. My family taught me respect and honor. My grandfather didn’t expect me to be afraid to talk to him, he wasn’t waiting with a belt just hoping I would step out of line so he could whip me. No, He loved me and he wanted to teach me what was right.
The Israelites struggled throughout their history with this point. They would see God do something amazing like deliver them from Egypt, but then a short time later they would forget and go and do their own thing. They kept falling into a pattern of seeing God as no big deal. The problem is that this eventually led time and time again to their captivity.
Now in the New Testament Paul describes it this way, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:21
You can choose to read the rest of that chapter. Paul describes in sad vivid detail what that verse entails. But the Key is that we ought to honor God and give Him thanks. We should respect His holiness and walk with the fear of the Lord, not fear of a beating, but the kind of fear that brings us to our knees in awe and majesty. Look at Isaiah in Chapter 6 of his book. Or John in Revelation.
So, when you pray, pray like this. Like someone who is fully in love with a fully holy God. Don’t stress over your prayer, but also don’t be flippant. Love, Honor, and Cherish your ability to speak to the King of Heaven. Remember, this is the same God that Daniel described. The same God that made Isaiah tremble. The same God that made John (the one He Loved) fall on his face.
Imagine that last part for a minute. John was described as “The Disciple Jesus Loved” At the last supper, he was the one who was resting on Jesus’ chest. Yet when He encounters God in His heavenly encounter, it stops him in his tracks and he falls to the ground like a dead man. If anyone ever had a right to stand and be ‘chill’ around God it was John. Yet even John was brought to His knees at the sight of Jesus in His fullness.
I love you, and I hope this didn’t come off as mean spirited, becuase it was meant quite the opposite. I want you to experience the fullness of Jesus, and bask in His overwhelming Love. I also want you to see Him as He is, and not just how we want Hi to be. Be looking this week as we will continue to discuss the Model for Prayer we find in Matthew.