Summary: The primary purpose of prayer.
When we pray, it is not primarily not to get things from God; although that is why many people pray. The primary purpose of prayer is to commune with God, then getting things is only a by-product. And if communion with God is the only thing there is to prayer, that would be sufficient, we would not need anything else.
Just think of the great privilege it is to commune with God; like an everyday citizen, getting an opportunity to sit down and chat casually with the President of the United States. Yet when you pray, you come into God’s presence, surrounded by the cherubim, seraphim and the many angels. You’re talking to the One who created billions of stars, and who breathed His life into the first triune Adam, and from him we all live.
When you pray, “Hallowed by thy name,” you are giving God a platform in your life by which He can manifest His glory. When you honestly make this petition, you focus your mind on the Person of God; and keep it there until you understand the greatness of who God is and what He can do for you.
You don’t pray the Lord’s Prayer to impress God with your spirituality or with your ability to pray. You first of all display God to your mind, and then; you pray “Thy kingdom come,” which is submitting to his rules of life and next your pray, “Thy will be done,” which you submit your life to Him. Therefore, prayer is ultimately and continually . . . is finally and always has been . . . our petition that His glory is manifested in you.
Therefore, God’s glory is greater than your problems that make you pray, greater than your needs that drive you to God, greater your concern that scares you, and greater than anything you want to do for God. The Lord’s Prayer begins with “Hallowed be thy name” because the most important thing in prayer is that God’s name be magnified and exalted.
True prayer begins with God’s priority when you pray “Hallowed by Thy name . . . thy kingdom come . . . thy will be done . . .”
When you pray, “Hallowed be Thy name” you do not rush into His presence to demand that God do something for you, nor are you concerned about your own ability to pray. You come into his presence recognizing who God is and what He can do for you or that He would move, or respond on your conditions.
When you pray, “Hallowed by Thy name” you’re not making a deal with God nor are you placing conditions for answers to prayer. Too many people say, “God I’ll stop a sin, if you answer my prayer.” Or they say, “God, I will do something good for you (like going to church or giving money) if you’ll answer my prayer. Other people try to bargain with God such as fasting to get their prayers answered, or say, “I’ll pray all day” if you’ll answer my prayer. All of these are wrong. Your prayer is a platform by which God is magnified, and His glory is put on display in your life.
When you pray, “Hallowed be thy name,” you are not making a strong “faith statement” as some who believe they can make demands on God because they have exercised the “prayer of faith” to move mountains, solve problems or demand great answers from God. Jesus said when you pray, tell God how great He is and worship Him. The purpose of prayer is to set God in His rightful place in your life.
Prayer is for God, therefore the Lord’s Prayer begins with, “Hallowed be thy name.” The first three petitions are for God that His name be hallowed, His kingdom rule in your life, and His will be done in your life.
What does God get out of your prayer? Make sure that you don’t come into the presence of God to call attention to yourself, your greatness, or even your needs. Don’t use your prayers hypocritically to show how spiritual you are in the context that Jesus warned against using prayer hypocritically to inform God of how spiritual you are. In that same context, He warned against being repetitious as though we were praying to twist God’s arm. When you rush into God’s presence with “people-centered” requests, your prayer is substandard, it should begin by hallowing God’s name.
When you begin your prayer, “Our Father” you begin on an intimate relationship, i.e. that of a father and a child. God is not angry to kill you, nor is He aloof to adore you, or is He busy to never hear you, God is not some far off deity in heaven; God is a father who can be approached. Prayer should be like a child jumping on a father’s lap and say, “I love you.”