Over the past two posts we’ve talked about God’s revelation of Himself as Father, and the wonder of His limitlessness as our Father in Heaven.
The next phrase that Jesus taught us to pray is one that we can often skip over, as if it were simply an introductory comment. But we should pause when we get to “Hallowed be your name!”
In our first phrase we address our Father, and acknowledge that He’s no ordinary Father, no earthly Father, but our Father in Heaven. Now comes a statement of worship.
“Hallowed” means to honour as holy, to revere, to acknowledge as glorious. Wow! “Hallowed be Your name!”
Again and again we find the authors in scripture commenting on the Name of God, the identification of God:
Psa. 8:1 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
Psa. 135:13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
Psa. 138:2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
When we come to God the appropriate thing for us to do is to worship. He is beyond us in His perfection, pure in heart, abounding in love and kindness. His is all powerful, knows all things and is wise beyond our comprehension.
Jesus teaches us that we start prayer with worship.
Not with confession – for we start with God, not with us! The Lord’s Prayer is not a prayer to be reeled off religiously, but a template for us to use in coming to God. And at the start of it Jesus teaches us to worship.
Sadly we often miss out on encountering God in His glory and His goodness because we move on too quickly from this. David, Israel’s greatest King, was shaped by God on the rugged hills surrounding Bethlehem, in the isolation of shepherding. It was here that he began to pen the songs that still inform our worship today. It was here that he encountered God, grew in relationship with his Father, and ultimately prepared to be the king that would lead Israel to it’s greatest days of worship and the building of the temple.
Similarly, Joshua, the man that God used to lead His people into the inheritance that God had promised them was a man who lingered in God’s presence. As Moses’ understudy he observed Moses’ relationship with God first hand, how God would speak with Moses, and the priority that Moses put on communion with God. Scripture records for us that when Moses left the tent of meeting Joshua would often stay there to be with God.
In our busy lives, full of gadgets presenting us with urgent Facebook notifications and emails and an incredible array of potential distractions it is easy to miss God.
Jesus teaches us that prayer starts with worship. Why? Because faith is kindled when we see God. Faith is kindled in encountering Him. When we think on His goodness we pray differently. When we know that we come to a God who cannot be thwarted in accomplishing His purposes we pray with boldness.
There is a great link between worship and faith. Worship produces faith. And the writer to the Hebrews reminds us that it is impossible to please God without faith.
Do you want to please God? Then take time in worship. Fill your mind with Him. Let your heart be touched by His love. Gaze upon His goodness, and delight in His purposes. Join yourself to His mission. Take time for this and the fruit will be faith, and the pleasure of God!