Summary: The Lord’s Prayer was not given to be just be recited as a ritual. It is actually given to us as the Lord’s blueprint for prayer that is acceptable to God.
The fact that God is our “dearest father” is to be foundational awareness in prayer. Paul tells us in Galatians 4:6, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (NKJV) Wrapped up in the expression “our father” is a new dimension in intimate communion with God, the same intimacy that exists between a child and their father is to exist between them and God.
But perhaps you have a great hindrance in this area because did not have a good role model in your earthly father! Perhaps your father was angry and unapproachable or abusive. In such a case, one way to overcome this is to think of God as being everything you ever wished for in a father, God can become for you the fulfillment of your dream for a honorable and decent father who loves you unconditionally. The beginning of effective prayer is the recognition that God possesses a father’s heart, a father’s love, a father’s strength and a father’s concern for the best interest of his children.
This concept of a loving heavenly father provides us with a profound sense of being loved. Everett Fullam a missionary to a remote tribe in Nigeria relates the salvation experience of one of the local natives, when he revealed the awesomeness of this new experience with God by saying; “Behind this universe stands one God, not a great number of warring spirits, as we had always believed, but one God. And that God loves me!” [as quoted in Kent Hughes. Abba Father: The Lord’s Pattern for Prayer (Wheaton, Crossway Books, 1986) pp. 22-23.]
It of course needs to be remembered that it is impossible to come to God as our Father except that we are born into his family through faith in Jesus Christ. This prayer is based on a relationship with God through faith in Christ and can only be uttered by those who are in the family.
When we begin our prayer, “Our Father,” we begin to pray based on an intimate relationship with God – that of a father and child. God is not an angry judge looking for an opportunity to condemn us, nor is aloof and distant, too busy to hear you. He is our Father and can be approached on an intimate basis. Having the foundational awareness of God as our Father we move on to the first of the petitions, “hallowed be your name.”
The Lord’s Prayer contains seven petitions; the first three petitions are called the “Thy Petitions” because in the King James Version they begin with the word “thy” and they center on God.
Thy name be hallowed
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
2. Praying On the Basis of a New Respect – “Hallowed be your Name”
When you pray “hallowed be your name,” you climb to a new level of respect for God and reverence for his person. You are ascending to the very heart of God to recognize who He is and what He has done for us.
When Jesus taught us to pray “hallowed be your name,” He was telling us to make the presence of God real in our hearts. When you pray “hallowed be thy name,” you are placing God on the throne of your heart. It is about putting God on the throne of our lives on earth, as He sits upon His throne in heaven.