This is the first in a 5- part series on the Lord’s prayer. Recently I went over the subjects of how to pray and why we pray, so I thought that I’d go into a little more depth on the meaning behind the Lord’s prayer. Today we’ll be looking at the beginning, Matthew 6:9 b
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name,”
Jesus starts out by saying Our. He is not just mine. We as humans like to own things. We like to say He is my God, that is my home, these are my friends. Jesus starts out by saying He is ours. None of us have an individual right to Him. He came to seek and to save all nations and all people. This changes our perspective from just us and Him to a community, all centered around Him.
Next, Jesus referred to God the Father as Abba, meaning Daddy. The Jews at that time were very reverent and respectful towards God. They were used to calling Him Lord God of Heaven, and giving many great and reverent names to Him. Jesus challenged their perspective when he said Abba. That’s an intimate term that they didn’t associate with the mighty God of Heaven.
After that, though, Jesus shifts again. He says, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,” He shifts from this intimate relationship to praising God’s mighty name, reaffirming that God is hallowed, meaning holy. He does this to show that God is both loving and powerful.
This is an important distinction. If God was just loving, we would know that He wants to help us, but not necessarily that He is mighty enough to help us. If we only know Him as a powerful God, we know that He is mighty and strong, but we don’t know if He will help someone as small as us. Jesus puts these two seemingly different aspects of God together to remind us that He is both powerful and loving. He also reminds us to praise Him first for this, before we do anything else.
In this first segment of the Lord’s Prayer, remember that God is both loving and powerful, and that we should praise Him for that.