Arguably the linchpin of the entire Sermon on the Mount, the Lord’s Prayer is a central part of Jesus’ teaching of the disciples. Up until this point, Jesus has issued His blessings as the Supreme Suzerain (we call them the Beatitudes), and in giving marching orders to His vassals, He arrives to the issue of prayer. “Pray like this,” Jesus commands.
The Church belongs to Christ. She was purchased by His blood through the ransom of the Cross. Because of the Father’s election, the Spirit’s regeneration, and the Son’s propitiation, we belong to Him. When we prayer our prayers, the entire army we call “Church” comes together to petition the heavenly throne room. Our God. Our Father. Our Lord. He is ours.
The Lord’s Prayer begins with corporate solidarity. We are one, and one are we. Together we make up the Body of Christ and together we petition Him. The Church is a unit that functions together in such a way as to be more than just a bunch of individuals who have something neat in common. No, we are His and He is ours. We are one in Christ and together we approach Him.
But who is this God? Sure, we come together and approach His throne, but who is He? God is our Father and we are His children. He is compassionate, patient, loving, and majestic. He is Sovereign, yet approachable. We can knock on His door during the wrong hours and He will still let us in. We can approach Him with whatever is on our minds because He is Father, which means He is love.
To approach our Father is to approach the infinite God of the universe. He is both transcendent and majestic. He is utterly distinct from His creation and yet His heart is so full of joy, He takes part with His creation. His ear is never too full, His attention never too short. He is our Father, and our Father is eager to hear from His children.
We are not careless when we approach our Abba. Yes, Father cares for you and me, but we aren’t flippant. If one wishes to pray like this, he ought to be sober in his approach to the throne of glory. The throne is still holy. The fact that we can even approach His throne is only by the mercy and grace of Christ. We needed someone to let us in, and Jesus did just that!
God is holy, which means He’s entirely unstained by sin and evil. His clothes are white and there is no stain remover in heaven. Because of His morally uncorrupted nature, we pray that God’s name would be revered and honored as holy everywhere. We want desperately not to just see God’s glory, but to taste it as well. And not just taste it, we want to share it with the world! To hallow something is to revere something as entirely distinct and separate. We wish to see the holiness of God on display in the world so people respect Him. We ask “hallowed be” because God is. What are we asking for?
We long to see the name of God respected in the nations. We want God’s name, His character, personhood, and glory to be treasured, valued, and esteemed by all men everywhere. The Lord’s Prayer is a global prayer. It is our hope that God’s holiness, majesty, knowledge, love, wrath, purity, patience, loving kindness, justice, righteousness, and light be the priority of all people in all nations.
The name of God is sacred. His character is wrapped up in these two words, “I AM.” God simply is. Because He is, we pray that His name be hallowed. To pray likes this, Jesus demonstrates, is to approach God with joy, happiness, fear, and trembling. We come to God together because He is our Father. And we want the name and fame of our Father to be revered everywhere! He’s just that important.
What about you and your prayer life? Does your prayer life reflect these things? Do you pray to our heavenly Father? Is there a hint of trepidation and elation in your prayers or are you flippant about it? Do you come to God knowing that He is both Father and Holy? What about the content of your prayers? Are they simply a reflection of whatever randomness you have going on or is there a hint of cosmic significance?
Whoever you are, wherever you are located know this: He is our Father and He longs to hear from you. Turn to Him this very moment like a child to his father, jumping into His ginormous lap and know that His ear is turned towards you. And let that joy ruminate deep within your soul with the prayer that all men everywhere hallow God’s perfect name.