In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught his followers how to pray. The first thing he focused on was “hallowing” the name of our heavenly Father (Mathew 6:9). This blog will seek to unlock the rich meaning of these words of Jesus. Let us begin with a story.
Several years ago, I witnessed an accident on the southern outskirts of Richmond Hill, north of Toronto. I was stopped at the intersection of Highway 7 and Highway 11, waiting for the traffic light to turn green.
A car driven by a middle-aged man rear-ended another vehicle driven by a younger man. The young guy was very upset because his car was brand new. As the middle-aged man got out of his car with his two teenage sons and observed the damage, the young guy ran to the middle-aged man and pushed him very hard in the back.
I was taken aback, to say the least. Fortunately, the father responded with restraint and the young guy seemed to calm down a bit. What that young guy did was wrong and would have been disrespectful and dishonouring if he did it to anyone. But as I thought of what I witnessed, I came to the conclusion that the young guy’s behaviour toward the middle-aged man was made even more dishonourable given that the man’s two sons were present.
In that situation, he was not only worthy of respect and honour because he was another human being, but also because it was quite apparent that he was the father of those two boys. I think the fact that the father was with his two boys helped him to turn the other cheek in that situation.
Why This Matters For You
Now, imagine if that was Stephen Harper’s car which hit the young guy’s vehicle. And imagine that the young guy did the same thing to the Prime Minister as he did to the dad. We would be even more taken aback by the gravity of the offense. Because of his position, Stephen Harper is worthy of even more honour.
Most people see the need for added reverence in these two cases rather clearly. But, for some reason, less people see their need to revere and honour God in their lives. Could this be one of the main reasons why our prayer life is so weak and we see so few answers to our prayers.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us that we are to pray that our heavenly Father’s name will be hallowed. He is saying that we are to pray that God’s character and person would be revered, respected and appreciated in the world. If we are to pray that with integrity and sincerity, it implies a commitment on our part to live life in such a way as to honour our heavenly Father.
It is as if we are to pray each morning, “Father, your reputation is at stake in me today … I’m a child of yours since I am trusting in Your Son Jesus. May I live in such a way as to do your person/character great credit.”
When we pray for a specific need, one of our main motivations should be that God’s name would be glorified and that His character would be revealed through answered prayer. This is how I have been praying for our 8-week Day Camp this summer. I have mentioned many times of how God has been faithful over the 18 years we have had this Day Camp. I have also seen how God has worked in the high school and university students who have worked as staff at this Day Camp. One of the reasons I believe that God has worked powerfully in the lives of these young people is that they have seen God answer many prayers in relation to the needs of the Day Camp.
So this year, I have prayed to God like this: “Oh Lord, I have ‘bragged’ about your faithfulness. I have testified to your power in providing for the Day Camp. Do it again! Show Yourself faithful! Glorify (hallow) Your name!” And God has answered this prayer over and over. Just today, our Camp Director, Tori, said that we are at capacity for next week’s registrations. We have many kids registered this week. God is providing. God is showing Himself strong and faithful. Praise the Lord!