This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Matthew 6:9
Jesus teaches his followers a new way of praying they would never have considered themselves. The Jewish custom of praying was to approach God as “Sovereign Lord, King of the Universe.” Jesus begins The Lord’s Prayer by calling God “Our Father.” It’s intimate and quite out of the ordinary.
In his prayer, Jesus presents two truths about God. He is hallowed—God Almighty, sovereign, all-powerful, blameless, pure, righteous and Creator. By calling him Father, Jesus declares he is a loving, caring, understanding, always present, merciful, forgiving provider. While none of us has a perfect earthly father, Jesus’s instructions in his prayer show us we can come to Almighty God as our good and perfect parent.
Author and theologian N.T Wright says, “[The Lord’s Prayer] starts by addressing God intimately and lovingly as a ‘Father’—and by bowing before his greatness and majesty. If you can hold those two together, you’re already on the way to understanding what Christianity is all about” (The Lord and His Prayer available at Amazon or locally at Baker Book House or Kregel Parable). There is no other god like our God, who is both holy and relational. Amazingly we are allowed to approach God Almighty as our loving dad.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
As you pray The Lord’s Prayer today, reflect on whether you typically focus more on God’s greatness or his closeness as Father. As you continue this week with the 40 Days of Prayer, make it intentional to approach God as both hallowed and good, loving Father. If you haven’t committed to the 40 Days of Prayer, we invite you to start today.
40 DAYS OF PRAYER
Join us for 40 DAYS OF PRAYER where all of us will find a quiet space and slowly read The Lord’s Prayer. May forty days of praying like Jesus prayed, and desiring what Jesus wanted, make a big difference in our hearts and our communities.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
NEW TESTAMENT READING PLAN
Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.
Today’s reading is John 8.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.