9 Pray then like this: First, how not to pray…now, the instruction of how rather to pray:
Our Father who art in heaven, — I love that God is not just Jesus’ Father…and he’s not just my Father…but our Father. I am not an only child here! I have a huge family unit consisting of brothers and sisters, spanning the globe and the ages. We are one big family! “Father” is a personal, intimate term. It indicates a family relationship, of favor, love, nurturing and protection. We might not have the best example in our earthly fathers, but everything that we would expect and respect in our own earthly daddy, God is to us, and infinitely more. In fact, He sets the bar for earthly fathers, even the best daddy in this world will fall short of the excellency of our Heavenly Father.
Hallowed be thy name.
God’s name and very essence is “hallowed” which means holy, or consecrated (set apart…above all) sacred, or revered (I’d be getting WAY AHEAD of myself here if I took you on the bunny trail of the word sanctification…we’ll get to it in a bit, I promise). While we are not the ones doing the “hallowing”, by observing and understanding the holy, sacred nature of God’s Name, we participate in an act of worship to Our Father, God. It is the first step in adoration, that is, recognizing and reverencing Him for who He is, apart from what He’s done/is doing. By the way, if you’ve never done a personal study on the names of God, you are missing out on some wonderful heart knowledge. I love the thought of incorporating God’s names and attributes into my prayers, but often my mind goes blank and I can’t bring them to mind. Having a list handy during my prayer time would be helpful, so I decided to devote one page of my prayer journal to the attributes of God, and another to the names that are recorded of His.
This was a lofty plan, I found as I began a crash course on the attributes/names of God, using this site. Wow. I knew there was not enough room on my page to list them all (further proof that our God cannot and will not be contained). I finally just chose the ones that are relevant to me where I am on my journey today. Eventually, I plan to do an in-depth study of the names of God, I’ll write the Hebrew name on one side of an open page, and the English meaning on the other. For now, because of limited space, I gave myself permission to write only the English meaning of the Hebrew name. Since God is both perfect and multilingual, I figure He’s okay with me not butchering the Hebrew when calling on Him.
What about you? Do you find it helpful to focus you attention on His attributes when you address Him by name? What are the names/attributes of God that you focus on when you pray?