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Praying the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13; 9)

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“OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN”

First, this is a shockingly direct and personal addressing of God in prayer—as Father.
And then, second, Jesus shockingly incorporates us into his sonship.
If there was anyone who could claim exclusive right to address God as “My Father,” it was Jesus.
In teaching us to pray to God as “Our Father,”
Jesus invites us into corporate familial identity.
And our Father will be addressed as my Father by children of God from
every tribe, language, people, and nation on earth.
Here we see that there is an overwhelming, undeniable otherness to God—God in heaven.
We see that God has perspective—heavenly perspective—that we do not share.
He has unbelievable reach.
He has grand exaltation.
He has heavenly authority.
And to this God, we, the church, part of the global church, are taught to pray.
We can see in the first three petitions, this first half, prayers for worship, kingdom, and obedience:
“Your name be honored as holy”: worship
• “Your name be honored as holy”: worship
“Your kingdom come”: kingdom
• “Your kingdom come”: kingdom
• “Your will be done”: obedience
“Your will be done”: obedience
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These are three distinct, but also very much related, petitions.

“YOUR NAME BE HONORED AS HOLY”

First, worship: “Your name be honored as holy”
So here, purpose is now revealed.
The first petition that Jesus teaches us to pray is toward the glory and worship of our heavenly Father—“Your name be honored as holy”!
It’s the New Testament flipside of the third commandment
—May your name not be taken in vain, but instead be treated as holy!
It is the heartfelt prayer that God will be worshiped and adored.
It is the prayer that our affection for God would be rivaled by no other affection.
We are to pray starting on the individual level for a holy, stark, evident, undeniable contrast
between the hallowing of God in our lives
and the worship, adoration, or affection toward anyone or anything else.
If I could say just one word, one perfectly appropriate and fitting and glorious word of worship to my Lord for eternity—one single word to capture this worship petition—I think it might be the word worthy.
Though the Sanhedrin declared that Jesus was “worthy of death,” each follower of Christ will one day join with the angels, ten thousand times ten thousand, in the loud and eternal song of praise: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” ().
So individually we are to pray and live out “Hallowed be your name.” But personal doxology is not enough. God’s purposes are global. And God’s people should have a holy dissatisfaction with the worshiplessness of the world, a holy dissatisfaction that more than two billion people in the world have little or no access to the gospel of Jesus—and those two billion do not worship or hallow the blessed and worthy name of the God who created them.
And may our passion for God’s global glory be not merely in song. Today we have some praise songs that focus wonderfully on God’s global glory. But if our lives don’t reflect that God is worthy of global glory and worthy of our purpose and passion, we sing empty words.
Hallowed be your name—not just in song, but in life. Not just personal, but global. And not just doxological, but petitional. This is not just a doxological statement—“Hallowed be your name”—it is a petition. It is a cry to God to mobilize, to work in power to bring about the worship of his name.
Oh, M. (2012). From Every Land to Every Land. In D. Mathis & J. Piper (Eds.), Finish the Mission: Bringing the Gospel to the Unreached and Unengaged (pp. 84–86). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
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