The Lords Prayer

July 31, 2014

Matthew 6:7-13

Seven Keys to Effective Prayer

In a pattern or model of seven principles, Jesus outlines the basic, beginning point of everything that has to do with prayer:

Access through relationship with God — “Our Father in heaven…”

Holiness — “Hallowed be Your name.”

Kingdom-come responsibility — “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Day-to-day dependence upon God — “Give us this day our daily bread.”

Forgiveness — “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Obedient faith — “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Trusting faith; power through praise — “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Principle 2: Holiness   “Hallowed be Your name.”

Hallowed be -- that is, "Be held in reverence"; regarded and treated as holy.

Your name -- God's name means "Himself as revealed and manifested." Too much attention cannot be paid to this.

This phrase is a petition that people may look upon God's name (which is His Word, His presence) as holy, as something that inspires awe and reverence, and that we may not trivialize it by making God a tool for our purposes. The sum of the meaning of the phrase says: "Understand what you're talking about when you're talking about God, this is serious, this is the most wonderful and frightening reality that we could imagine, more wonderful and frightening than we can imagine.”

As ready as the access is, this is not a license for casual entry. Jesus underscores we are to come to God with the understanding of His nature—which is holy—and to worship Him.

The term, “Your name” is a focus on the attributes of the Lord. A name is a representative term—The Lord’s name is to be reverenced because of the glory, mercy, love and grace there is in His Person.

Jesus says, along with our call to relationship (“Our Father…), there is a call to worship (Hallowed be Your Name”). You become like the god that you worship, even if you don’t realize you are “worshiping” (Read Psalm 115). Whatever values I bow before, what I surrender and give myself to, whatever becomes the center of my private world—I become that way. If you will come to the Lord in prayer, worshiping Him for who He is, it will begin to transform you into being like Him. His character will become a part of your nature.

What does God mean by holy?

The concept of holiness has to do with anything that’s absolutely pure, unpolluted, uncompromised, untainted. Something that has not been fragmented or reduced in any way from its original completeness and purity. When the Bible speaks of God as holy, it’s saying that there is no less of Him than there was before, nor will there ever be less of Him. God will never be reduced in His attributes—His love, His power, His truthfulness, His mercy. What keeps all these attributes in tact is this undiminished completeness of the Almighty—that He is holy. One theologian has defined the holiness

of God this way: “Holiness is that attribute of God by which He preserves the integrity or completeness of His own being.”

The flip side: Unholy

Unholy = That’s us on our own. Something in every one of us has been diminished by the impact of life and our response to it, especially those responses that have begotten what is called sin. Sin troubles God not because He’s got a prudish attitude and doesn’t like it when people don’t do things His way. The heart of God is grieved for sin because it reduces the magnificence, completeness and beauty of what He made each of us to be. Sin ruins the rich possibilities God intended for us.

Unholy is the reduction; it compromises what I am. Jesus says, when you come to the Father, He not only wants you to come into His arms, but into His purpose. For that to be realized you need to come to know Him in a way that will infuse His nature into yours—through worship. Worship is coming open-faced, open-hearted, asking Him to restore His image in us that has been damaged by sin.

“Be holy for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)

Holiness is that attribute of God by which He preserves the completeness of His being, but it’s also a characteristic of God that He can transmit in us. It will make us like Him in loving, in mercifulness, in graciousness. In a very real sense, it’s a promise that if we will come before the Lord in humility and worship Him, He will put His nature in us. As we worship Him, there comes the growth of capacity to have the character of God begin to happen in us. That’s why Jesus says, when you come to the Father, worship Him because it will begin transforming your life; God will keep making you more like Him.

 

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