“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,” [Matthew ch6 v 9]
Let us continue with our look at the “Lords Prayer”, last week I just managed to get to the first two words, this week we shall look at the rest of the two lines, the Address if you like. As I pointed out last week a prayer is a letter from earth to heaven. If you send a letter to anyone it has to have an address, like wise when you send the prayer to God the Father there has to be a form of where He is. In Heaven where He shows His Glory a place where Jesus is now also and who mediates for us when we approach the Lord.
It helps us to realise just how spiritual a prayer is. No longer in the realms of everyday but in a high spiritual plane, even if we use our ordinary language, and seek help for our earthly cares and concerns. We must never forget that we are communing with an Almighty Powerful God and not to get complacent or find ourselves rattling off some words which will have lost their meaning. Each prayer is filled with awe and adoration and each word should be something we understand and believe in what we are saying and to whom we are saying it. In doing so we lift up our hearts in purity and in reverence in the Presence of the Living God in such a beautiful pure place as Heaven.
Approaching God in this way we have come to God as Father, in Heaven and now declare Him Holy. “Hallowed be thy name” means that we aware of the specialness of God, that He is far higher than we can imagine in Power and in Love. This part of the prayer is not a petition but a declaration of adoration.
We begin our prayers with praising God and this is rightly so, before we go on and ask for mercy and help or peace. it is giving God His place. A prayer is never about us and what we want or a list of all the “good things” we think we have done, metaphorically storing up “brownie points” to our name. It does not work that way, God knows us too well and He knows why we have acted in the way we have, or, said some holy sounding words to impress. He knows and we will never beimpressed or manipulated by anything we say or do, neither will He be part of a “Bargaining System”. You know the sort of thing where we say “If I promise to be a better person then You should give me a better job or an easier time.” It certainly does not work that way either.
We simply have faith when we pray and simply ask in a reverential way never arrogant or unbending, but willing to be in God’s Presence and willing to wait and listen to what God has to say to us. One last thought about saying “Hallowed be thy name”. How Holy is God’s name to you and is His name or the name of Jesus used wrongly? It is common to say OMG meaning O My God but not in a reverential way, in fact, quite the opposite. It is hurtful for Christians to hear the Lord’s name being taken in vain as He is our Friend, our Guide, our Saviour. No one likes their friend to be miscalled so we do not like our Lord’s name to be miscalled.
We have looked at whom we are praying to and where in all reverence and faith, and we have thought about the Wonder and Glory of God all packed into the word “Hallowed”. It is absolutely correct to say that the Lord’s Prayer is a simple set of words filled with deep meaning which becomes deeper as we look into them. Next week we continue with the next few words and see where that takes us in this adventure. You will be pleased to know that when we do get back together in the Sanctuary that can say the Lord’s Prayer together [though quietly] HALLELUJA
LET US PRAY
Almighty and Everlasting God,
You are the most Holy set on the most high Throne of Grace in Heaven. We come before You in reverence and with awe, at the wonder of your Power and Love. we come with praise and thanks that we can pray together as the body of the church and say the words that Jesus taught us.
We come before You aware of the Beauty of Holiness and approach You with joy in our hearts, lifting ourselves up to You and offering ourselves as a living sacrifice ready and willing to hear Your word for us and ready to do your will.
We come before You and ask for a blessing on all those who are suffering physical or psychological illness at this time and their families who worry so much. We ask a blessing on all doctors, nurses, carers and health professionals.
We come before You and ask a blessing on all young people, those attending school and we also pray for the Boys Brigade and the Girls Brigade at this time and pray for the leaders and helpers that they will find a way to work with young people.
We come before you and ask a blessing on all those who feel estranged because of Covid 19 and find life difficult due to anxieties or loss of confidence. Help them make little steps back into the community so that they may feel less isolated.
We thank you Lord for your Goodness and Loving Care towards us, guide us through this Pandemic and lead us into the future with confidence so that the church may flourish and grow.
We ask in Jesus name,
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