After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name– Matthew 6:9
Every word of our Lord’s model prayer is remarkable and vital, but it is especially important to notice first what he puts first.
He begins with these wonderful and welcoming words: our Father. Even God’s chosen people, the people of Israel, had never been encouraged to approach God in the Old Testament with such familiarity and warmth! True, Jesus had addressed almost every one of his prayers to his “Father”, but what an unexpected and pleasant surprise for him to beckon us to enjoy the same intimacy.
Yet, in the same breath, Jesus reminds us not to grow complacent or presumptuous in the presence of our Father, because he is no ordinary father—he is our Father in heaven. The heavens are his throne and the earth is his footstool.
But even this is good news, isn’t it? The very One to whom we are encouraged to pray is the One who has the power and authority and wisdom to fulfill our desires and answer our prayers. No matter how big the issue might be, or how impossible the request might be, there is nothing that we cannot bring to our Father in prayer and there is nothing that he cannot do.
And what is to be the first request on our lips, the chief desire of our hearts? Hallowed be Thy name. Recognizing that our heavenly Father is worthy of our every praise and devotion, we are to hallow (set apart and above) his name in our hearts. If his name is sacred in our hearts, then his name will be consecrated in our choices, our actions, our lives.
Our dear and heavenly Father, may Your great name be hallowed in us!