Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, Iowa on June 8, 2014.
Today we find ourselves in Matthew 6:5-9. Today marks the second week in our four or five week sermon series on prayer. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get right to work.
Having said that, how often have you taken your prayers and lined them up to the Lord’s prayer? As I stated earlier, prayer for Christians is assumed. If you are a true child of God, you will pray to him. You should pray without ceasing. When you pray, are your prayers “like this” or like something else? If not, why not? Are you praying wrongly? Perhaps.
With all of that under our belt, I want to work through the Lord ’s Prayer verse by verse and word by Word. Therefore today, we are going to examine on verse 9.
The next word that I want us to meditate on is “Father.” This word has become empty to us as it relates to God. In the days of Jesus, this was not the case. Calling God Father was highly unusual, prior to Jesus. Only a handful of times in the Old Testament is God referred to as Father. However, when Jesus comes onto the scene that changes dramatically. Father becomes the primary way that the Christians address God. To us this title is second nature, but to the Jews during the days of Jesus, it was enough to start a war. Jesus coming into the reality was the tipping point to this transition. Why? Because it is only through the blood of Jesus Christ that we have the right to address God as Father. It is his blood that signs our adoption papers.
When we begin our prayer with “Our Father” we are saying something overwhelmingly profound and wonderful . With these two words we are placing ourselves on the lap of our Father, and this is by far the greatest gift we can fathom. The Almighty, Sovereign God of the Universe, is our Dad, and he wants us speak to Him with this on our lips and on our hearts.
With this said, what does God want us to request?
Next, what does it mean to hallow. Hallowed means to be sanctified; to be holy.. To set apart as not common, sacred. What does that look like. It looks like Isaiah 6.
When Jesus says, “Hallowed be Thy Name,” it is not a statement of fact. It is a petition. It is a request. Jesus is saying, “Father, make your name hallowed. Father, make your name Holy. Father, let your majesty, your authority, your glory be seen and revered. Father, cause us to see you high and lifted up and cause us to worship you! This is what “Hallowed be your name” means, and this is the first request that Jesus tells us to pray to our Father.
I want us to think about something for a second. This prayer is Jesus' example of how we are to pray in the midst of life. Let that sink in. Life is a mess. Life is full of trials and tribulations. Life consists of cancer, broken hearts, financial stress, deaths, loneliness, anxiety, stress; the list goes on an on. Life is broken, and Jesus is not oblivious to this. In fact, Jesus is more intimately aware of this than an of us. He gets your pain, and with that in mind, Jesus says to start with God's Holiness. This is to be first on your heart, despite the storm of your life.
Why? Why would God put our pain on hold, for the hallowing of his name? Perhaps he knows something we don't. In fact, what are we told in verse 8?
When we approach our Father with tears in our eyes and brokenness in our hearts, and crawl up on his lap and seek His face, what we need more than anything in that moment is to feel the sovereign, all powerful, arms of God wrapped around us. We need to know that our Dad is an awesome God. We need to recognize that there is nothing that is outside His control. That he is able. We need to feel his love and his strength. The hallowing of God in your life, puts everything into its proper perspective.
When we do this, when we hallow the name of God in our lives we, we find joy in the midst of our suffering. We find peace in the midst of the storm. We find contentment in the midst of all circumstances. We are able to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, for God's rod and his staff comfort comfort us.
The hallowing of God is the foundation of our lives. We are designed to stand upon the foundation that is the Holiness of God. Too often, instead of planting our feet upon the rock of God's sovereignty we seek the quick fix of the removal of the thorn.
Here is the question that I will leave all of us with today, do you believe it? Do you trust Jesus in the example that He gives? Do you believe that your greatest need is the hallowing of God's name in your life? Do you believe that the deeper you go in the hallowing of God's name the higher he will lift you above the waves crashing against your boat?
We are told not to put God to the test, but we are told to trust Him. So I say to you today, trust Him. Change how you pray, put God's glory upfront where it belongs.