Matthew 6:9 (ESV)

Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Here, in what is known as the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus doesn’t give us a prayer that we are to repeat mindlessly, but He gives us a structure to follow in prayer. He says that we should pray, “like this…” as in, in this way or pattern… And the first part of this prayer, found in Matthew 6:9, sets the tone for everything that is to follow.

The idea in this first petition is that we are to ask the Father to make us treasure Christ above all else. Jesus Himself is the nameof God made manifest. In His high priestly prayer Jesus says, “I have manifested your name to the people you gave me out of the world” (John 17:6 ESV). Paul tells us that Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God (Hebrews 1:3). Peter tells us that there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved—only Jesus (Acts 4:12). Over and over again God’s Word says He does what He does for His name’s sake, and that name and Jesus go hand in hand. Jesus is the point. God is about magnifying His glory in and through Jesus. And Jesus is saying that we should pray that we would be as well…

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,” is a petition for God to hallow His name in us—in and through His people. So when we pray that God would hallow His name in us, we are praying that God would make us desire Jesus, love Jesus, live for Jesus above all else. That’s how we hallow His name. It’s a petition for God to fill our hearts with greater love and affection for Jesus than the things of this world. So the first petition of Jesus’ model prayer is a petition of the heart…

The rest of this prayer serves and flows from this petition. Really, within this prayer is the whole of the Christian life. But we must start here, with a heart for Christ, because the whole of the Christian life is served by and flows from a heart for Christ—a heart that loves the glory of God in Jesus above all else… So ask God to hallow His name in you.

I am nothing; Christ is all!

Pastor Nick