“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” Matthew 6:9
Following the opening line of the prayer, Jesus calls for respect, awe, and worship.
His Name is Hallowed
Naturally, it follows that worship is drawn out of us in the presence of a heavenly Father. We stand in awe of him. Literally, Jesus is teaching his disciples to recognize, acknowledge, and proclaim in prayer our Father’s holiness. He is established in the heavens, and he is holy, set apart, and worthy of worship. As John Baillie says in A Diary of Private Prayer, “…even my highest thoughts of Thee are but dim and distant shadowings of Thy transcendent glory. …Let my soul rejoice in Thy mysterious greatness.”
“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” Exodus 15:11
“And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’” Isaiah 6:3
In my experience, this simple phrase—“Hallowed be your name”—gives birth to the attributes of God and the names of God. While I seek to let my words be few, I cannot help but praise him. He is worthy. Even in the context of loss I am enthused to worship his name.
“Hallowed be your name.” Matthew 6:9
On Earth as it is in Heaven—His Kingdom and His Will
Submission is an uncomfortable word in our society—unless you’re submitting to a good king. I love 2 Timothy 2 where there’s a turn of a phrase or two. If we deny Jesus, it goes, he will deny us. But if we are faithless, he remains faithful because he cannot deny himself. He cannot go against his own faithful nature. Submission, as a posture, to such a trustworthy king is actually attractive.
“…if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13
Therefore, I have no problem praying in keeping with his kingdom and in line with his will. Our God is a faithful God. His kingdom and his will are good. He is wholly faithful and worthy of our trust. Submission to him is for our good.
Even in times of pain.
I love the phrase, “as in heaven, so on earth.” One translation interprets The Lord’s Prayer in this manner. I like it. When it comes to what I want or need in my life—especially in such an unsettled moment in my journey—I can boldly submit my desire to his will, as in heaven so on earth. As his will is accomplished in heaven, I agree that I want only that in my life or in anyone else’s life for that matter. I press into his kingdom and into his will.
“‘Thy kingdom come,’ of necessity includes this: ‘the other kingdom go.’ … ‘Thy will be done’ includes by the same inference this: ‘the other will be undone.’” S. D. Gordon, Quiet Talks on Prayer
Proactive, intentional humility prepares you to pray rightly. At this point in my prayer, I bring causes, people, and needs to the feet of a faithful and good God, and I simply agree with God in each case. Not my will but his be done. I choose to trust him and ask that he causes his kingdom to come and his will to be done for me and for those I love. The best intercession is brought to him in the context of his kingdom and his will.
As in heaven, so on earth.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10