Matthew 6:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
It seems that so often we, as Christians, hear the Lord’s prayer or more aptly said, the model prayer, with very little reaction on our part. At best, we may pause and feel good inside. But, seldom do we ever stop and really think about what the prayer says. I can hardly get through the first verse of the model prayer. I like to divide the first verse into three parts: instruction, authority and reverence. If each of us would just spend a few minutes looking at Matthew 6:9 with respect to these three elements, our lives would be forever changed. So, please join me as I reveal to you the power this verse unlocks for me.
First, let’s look at instruction. Those of us who have given our lives to Christ and believe in Jesus, know that the Word of God, the Bible, is our instruction manual for life. It contains within its pages all we need to know to handle all that life brings, to live life to its fullest and to prepare for our home not made with hands eternal into the heavens. So, when we see these words of instruction in the first verse of the model prayer, we know to listen up and practice what God is telling us to do.
Clearly, the instruction in this verse tells us that we should pray as Christ prays in Matthew 6:9-13. But perhaps even more basic, is the fact that the verse tells us to pray. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who seem to think they can go through their days without consulting the Creator of the day and all that is in it. However, honestly, it surprises me even more the number of times I fly through my prayers without really stopping to hear from Him. Yes, you are right. That is just another prayer prayed amiss. But, if we look at Matthew 6:9, really look at it, we can see that not only does He tell us to pray, He tells us how we should do it. So a closer look at Matthew 6:9-13 is in order but for now let’s concentrate on Matthew 6:9.
With the complete understanding that we need to pray and that we need to pray as Jesus established we should pray, it is now time to move to the second key to unlocking God’s power in our life as revealed by Matthew 6:9, authority. The simple two words, “Our Father” opens all of heaven for us and empowers us with all the power of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. This phrase, “our Father” gives us authority to claim kinship with Christ, inheritance of God and all the rights that come with being a child. Look closely. We are the child of the Most High God, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Alpha and Omega and the beginning and the end. Our Father has never lost a battle, nothing ever happens that He first doesn’t say can happen, and He watches over us always. Our Father wants only what is best for us and promises to supply all of our needs according to His riches, never to leave us, and to prepare a place for us to dwell with Him forever (Romans 8:15, John 10:29, I John 3:20, I Corinthians 10:13, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:19, Hebrews 13:5 and John 14:2-3). Our Father, He is mine. Through the blood of Jesus I can claim God as my Father. Now, that is authority from which I can do anything. Through the sacrificial blood of Christ I have been adopted into the Family of God and this gives me all the authority to access the throne of God that I need. In fact, as part of the family of God, I am invited to come boldly to the throne of God (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Finally, Matthew 6:9 gives credibility to the One who gives us authority to pray. Our authority is only as good as the one who gives us the authority. So, to increase our faith, motivate and inspire us, the model prayer tells us about the One to whom we pray as well as the One who gives us the authority to pray. Hallowed be Thy name. The dictionary defines hallowed as holy or sacred. The One who has given us authority to reach all of heaven, who intercedes for us, who hears us and answers our prayers is holy and should be held sacred in our hearts and minds. We have been given the right to access the throne of God by the very One who bought us that right and shed His blood to enable us to stand before God at His throne and speak freely to Him (Ephesians 2:10-18).
Yes, the model prayer should be spoken often and is appropriate for many occasions, but it should never be spoken lightly, ignored or taken for granted. Each word of the model prayer is powerful and when reflected upon, incorporated and followed, brings power, life and liberty to all.