Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. (Luke 11:2)
The disciples knew Jesus went away alone to pray, sometimes for entire nights, and they witnessed His supernatural miracles and healings daily. It must have had a tremendous impact on them! Luke 11:1–4 tells us that right after the disciples watched Jesus finish another one of His prayer times, they asked Him to teach them how to pray. Do you think they recognized where Jesus’s strength and power came from? Of course, they did! They realized that it came from His prayer time with the Father! Of all the things they could have asked Jesus that day, they asked Him, “Teach us to do what you just did, to pray the way you just prayed.”
It reminds me of one of my sons coming to me when they were just kids after they watched me do something that they wanted to emulate. “Dad, would you show me how to do that?” What would you do with that question from your child? Would you give them the wrong answer to frustrate them? If they wanted to learn how to drive, would you just throw them the car keys without any instructions? I don’t think so. I think you would give them very specific answers.
Was Jesus serious when He gave the disciples this prayer or was it just a suggestion for them to consider? Jesus was serious! He wanted the disciples to pray to the Father just as He did. And He wants us to do the same—to pray the way that He prayed—what we call The Lord’s Prayer. Jesus wants us to look at the steps that He followed as He went to His Father. This is the very foundation of prayer. Jesus wanted His disciples and the church to understand how we should speak to the Father, how we should approach almighty God in order to enter into His holy presence.
“Our Father in Heaven…”
The first words Jesus spoke were “Our Father.” He wanted to ensure that He truly is our Father and that we have surrendered our life to the God who loves us. When Jesus said “Our Father” to His disciples, He was not talking to those who did not have God as their Father. God wants to be certain that He is our Father as well; His desire to show us His love is the reason He sent Jesus into the world.
Of course, God still hears the cry of a sinner. He hears the cry of those who are lost when they call out to Him for help. Thank God, He heard my cry when I was not saved. But He knew that my heart’s true desire was to have Him as my Father. I just didn’t know how to get there.
Take a moment to ask yourself, “Is God my Father today?” If He is not, then now is the time to make Him your Father. If you have never bowed your heart to Jesus Christ and personally asked Him to forgive you and cleanse you of your sin, we can start right here. Say this prayer with me:
Almighty God, in the holy name of Jesus, I come to You, and I ask You to forgive me and to cleanse me of all of my sin. Lord Jesus, I bow before You and I acknowledge that I am a sinner. Please forgive me and come to live in my life; please be the Lord of my life. I want to be in Your family. Jesus, I give You my heart today; help me to serve You and to worship You. I surrender everything to You.
“Hallowed Be Your Name…”
We acknowledge that God is our Father. Then Jesus tells us we are to hallow the God of the universe and His name—that means to reverence, worship, honor, and adore Him. Jesus reverenced His Father, and we need to do the same!
While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. (Hebrews 5:7)
I don’t want you to miss this: God heard Jesus’s prayers because Jesus had a deep reverence for His Father.
My desire during these prayer days is for you to learn the powerful secrets of praying to our heavenly Father. We want God to answer our prayers, but we should also want to know why God will answer our prayers. Giving Him reverence as Jesus did is a big part of receiving those answers. It’s a foundational truth that you should not approach God casually without the reverence He deserves. Casual prayer is a mistake. I want to repeat that. Casual prayer is a mistake! I’m not saying we should be too afraid of God to approach Him. I am saying that we need to have the biblical fear that is defined as reverence for the God of the universe. Jesus gave His Father reverence and because Jesus did so, “God heard his prayers.”
How often do you take sixty or even thirty minutes just to minister to almighty God? How do you hallow or honor Him? What does this look like? You can open your heart and mind to the Almighty and bow in His presence. Confess His Holiness. Honor Him, worship Him, and magnify Him. Confess your sin to Him. Place Him on the throne of your life and humble yourself in His presence. He alone is the Most High God, and He alone is worthy. Worship Him with the words of your mouth, bless Him, and bow before Him. This is hallowing, honoring, and extolling God Almighty.
Did you enjoy this blog post?
Then you will love Jim Maxim’s book 21 Days of Deeper Prayer!