Summary: After entering into relationship with God in prayer we must honor God for who he is and what he has done. We honor God through praise of his name, and our actions.
This week I pulled some actual prayers of kids off the internet:
Debbie, age 7, prays Dear God: Please send a new baby for Mommy. The new baby you sent last week cries too much.
Dear God: Who did you make smarter? Boys or girls? My sister and I want to know. Jimmy, 6
Dear God: How many angels are there in heaven? I would like to be the first kid in my class to know the answer. Norma, 8
Dear Lord: Thank you for the nice day today. You even fooled the TV weather man. Hank, 7
Dear God: I need a raise in my allowance. Could you have one of your angels tell my father. Thank you. David, 7
Dear God: This is my prayer. Could you please give my brother some brains. So far he doesn’t have any. Angela, 8
Fortunately God loves it when we are honest with him and he answers all kinds of prayers, though not always in the way we imagined he would.
Over the last few weeks we have been learning about prayer from the teaching and model of Jesus. Even Jesus’ disciples realized they needed to learn more about prayer. One disciple, after watching Jesus pray, asked him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Perhaps he wanted to have a prayer life like Jesus, a prayer life which resulted in powerful and often miraculous results, and a very effective ministry. And so Jesus taught his disciples a model or a pattern for prayer which we now call the Lord’s Prayer.
Last week we looked at the first line of the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father who art in heaven.” Prayer is first and foremost an invitation into a relationship with God our Father. The Bible tells us we are adopted as God’s children when put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior who died for our sins on the cross. Since we are adopted by God, he is our Father, or as Jesus called God (and encouraged us to do likewise) our Abba, literally translated papa or daddy. It is a personal term for God as Father. As our Father he loves us and cares for us and wants to be with us, to spend time with us, to chat with us, and that is what prayer is for. Prayer is not just about bringing needs and concerns to God, but relating with God and sharing our life with your heavenly Father like you might share with your father or mother, or perhaps a best friend. God wants us to relate to him, to tell him what is on our mind, our frustrations, our joys, our anger, our thanks.
In the second part of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray “Hallowed be your name.” Hallowed is kind of an archaic word, we don’t exactly use it anymore. Hallowed means “Holy” or “honored is your name.” When we say “hallowed be thy name,” or “holy is your name,” we are honoring or revering God. While God is our Father and wants to relate to us in a loving way, we must also realize God is holy. We should not come to God in a casual, flippant manner. He is still holy and pure, and judges all sin and unrighteousness.
It seems over the last few decades we have leaned more towards God as our loving heavenly Father, and have lost our respect for God. The Bible reminds us that we must both love and fear God.