When you walk with God, He wants to change you and do impossible things in your life and through your life. What if you really believed that?
Jesus did not intend for us to pray His words over and over, but to pray the deep meaning of the words He gave us.
In this series, we will examine the six parts of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6, which was the instruction Jesus gave us for approaching and communicating with the Father. Jesus did not intend for us to pray His words over and over, but to pray the deep meaning of the words He gave us. Today we will examine the first verse of this prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Matthew 6:9
1. Our Father - God is available to everyone. God desires to be God to all.
Many people do not have a good father. Their fathers may be critical, unfaithful, or hurtful. When you think of fathers based on your earthly experience, you may impose these feelings and thoughts on your heavenly Father. But the Father in heaven is nothing like that.
If you hate your earthly father, it will be much more difficult for you to understand the love, protection, and encouragement of God the Father.
The first thing Jesus does in this prayer is to call God our Father. But God is not your Father by default or by right. You must ask Him and receive the free gift of salvation that He offers in order to become His child (1 John 1:19).
2. Who art in heaven - The state or condition of being under the ruling presence of God.
Heaven is a location.
Jesus tells us that there are many mansions in His Father’s house. The Bible tells us that heaven has twelve gates, that the angels live there, that it has thunder and lightning and is made with diamonds and rubies.
The ruling principle in heaven is peace – not quiet, but order. We can connect with nature on a spiritual level because nature is peaceful. It’s not necessarily quiet (think of the noise of the ocean waves), but it’s organized just the way God wanted it, so it feels right and peaceful.
Similarly in heaven, there is a lot happening, but it is all under the influence of God. The reason heaven is the standard of perfection and a place where everything is right is only because of the presence of a perfect God. This is important to understand because we want to seek the God of heaven, not heaven itself. God is the reason that heaven is heavenly.
Heaven is the state or condition of being under the ruling presence of God.
Wherever God’s presence is in complete control is heaven. For this reason, it is worth it to submit your dreams, your fears, your desires – everything you are – to God’s control. When you become subjected to the ruling power of God, allowing Him to control your perceptions, your plans, your words, and your thoughts, then you’re in heaven.
3. Hallowed – Cause His name to be holy and respected.
Holy means set apart. Heaven is holy because the God who rules there is holy.
There’s no other God than the One in heaven. The idols people place on their shelves are made of clay and metal; they can do nothing for you except lead you to pray to another being who is not God. You don’t want to pray to any physical idol—ever. God tells us not to have any other gods, so if you do, you should get them out of your life.
God’s name is set apart; there is none other like His. There is nowhere else we can go to get what God gives or to know what He knows.
How can you make sure to honor his name?
4. Thy name - Character, identity, and promise.
In the Bible, names represent character, reputation, or a promise:
Noah - rest, comfort
Moses – to draw out
Abraham – father of multitudes
Daniel – God is my judge
Michael – who is like God?
God has many of names, which we will examine in the coming weeks to learn what they mean, why they are holy, and how we can respect them, honor them, and bring them glory.
God is not a neighbor down the street; He is the holy, powerful one-of-a-kind King in heaven. When you put God in His right place and acknowledge His role, everything changes. Are you praying down to God and complaining about what He has or hasn’t done? Or are you recognizing His authority and power and acknowledging everything he has given you?
God’s name is above all names. His name Yahweh means I am that I am. He exists all by Himself without begin created or destroyed. He always was and always will be. When you can acknowledge to whom you are praying and how awesome He is, it helps you realize that all the things weighing you down are not a problem for Him.
It is your job to honor God and to remember it’s not about you! Spend time in prayer today respecting the name of God, bringing honor, glory, and praise to His name.