Hallowed Be Thy Name

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name, Matthew 6:9

It’s interesting that The Lord’s Prayer has been recited in churches throughout the ages even though the feelingless recitation is partially what Jesus spoke against in the previous passage.

The prayer is rich with content that if we were to consider each of its key points when we pray it, our life could change.

Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name!

Heavenly father.

Renew your love for this prayer.

Consider what each phrase means and represents.

Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name!

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Shh. Don’t Tell Anyone

5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:5-8

Like doing good deeds for all the world to see, praying for everyone to see because you want everyone to see it is not a good idea either. That certainly doesn’t mean that corporate prayer or someone leading a group of people in prayer is wrong or a bad thing. It’s the motive in how you pray.

Many even take it a step further and don’t even let people know that they pray at all.

The thing is that you’ll know someone who prays a lot in secret without knowing how long or when they pray. God surrounds them with peace that is just wonderful to see and experience. You can’t put a finger on why they’re different but they are.

I’d love to get to that point in my life, wouldn’t you?

Sure you would, just don’t tell anyone about it! 😉

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Step Away From the Trumpet, Please

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:1-4

My pastor friend, Denver, told the story of a man back in the 1970, who snapped a crisp $100 bill and laid it in offering plate. As a fairly new believer Denver was astonished at the sight of a man putting so much money in the plate. Later upon further reflection, Denver’s comment was, “That man got his reward in church that day.” He wanted the people to see him put that much money in, and they did.

This verse is merely a reminder that showing off our wealth or good works doesn’t mean a thing to God. He’d rather we do our acts in secret, even though it seems like it’s totally counter-intuitive to what the world believes we should do.

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The Call to Maturity in Love

48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48

Verse 48 rounds out Jesus’ teaching on the fulfillment of the law. Most scholars believe that ‘perfect’ could easily be translated ‘mature’ or well-rounded or complete. That certainly makes more sense because none of us can be perfect. In the context of this passage, it makes a lot of sense.

On our own we have a difficult time loving others, even those we love! Sometimes even lovely people are unloving and unkind. And forget those who hate us. That’s why we have to have a mature love, one that’s not childish or vain. Still, though, the command is impossible without the Holy Spirit of God working in us and through us and through the other person. Only God can work that kind of magic.

God’s not calling us to perfection. Otherwise, none of us could attain it. Instead, he’s calling us to love perfectly as He loves perfectly through the spirit of God in our lives.

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Let God Do the Heavy Lifting

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48

Sometimes our friends and family members can act as our enemies by the things they say and do. We think that because they’re related or are close enough to be called friends that they can’t possibly be enemies. We don’t like it and would rather it’s not the case, but it happens, so then what?

Well, we are to love those people as well, as difficult or impossible as it seems. What then does that look like?

According to Jesus’ words above, it looks like prayer. Unfortunately, human tendency is to go to prayer as a last resort when it should be the first resort. Of course you can’t break through your relative’s thick skull! Only God can. (And by the way, He can break through your thick skull too, so be careful how you pray).

So loving your relatives and friends who mock you, abuse you, or cause you no small amount of ill will means to pray for them and let God do the heavy lifting.

They’ll never know what hit them when you actively practice that type of love. 

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