It all starts with God!
We should always begin by acknowledging God’s greatness and praising Him for who he is and what He has done for us. The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray with faith that God can do what we ask of Him. It also teaches us how to prioritize our prayers.
Jesus started his prayer by hallowing the name of His father. We see how we should relate to God by acknowledging that God is in heaven. Calling on God our Father in heaven conveys two things 1) it communicates his nearness to us as a father, and 2) it shows us his divine existence as the one in heaven. Two things are communicated through the first statement, “Our father which art in heaven.” We feel close to our father and see that he is all-powerful as he resides in heaven.
The beginning of the prayer also shows us God’s nature as holy because his name is to be hallowed. In other words, we should begin our prayers by acknowledging God’s divine nature. Today’s Christian culture would have us feel that Jesus is our friend, and to a certain extent, He is our friend. Make no mistake about it; He is a holy God. He is in heaven and should hold the supreme place in all creation. We praise him as a worthy King over the entire world.
Jesus continues by saying, “Let your kingdom come, and you will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We should ask for God’s kingdom to be displayed in our lives and for His world to be accomplished. Not only are we to begin our prayers by recognizing that he is sovereign over the universe. By doing this, we also express our desire to do his will and be part of his plan. We express our desire to see his glory displayed. From the beginning, our prayers are not to be focused on ourselves but On God.
Too often, our prayers begin with our needs and what we want or desire. Jesus instructs us to start by remembering how great our God is. Maybe that is because when we focus on how sovereign God is, how holy, and how loving – our problems become so small in comparison.
Jesus is not the only one that recognized this truth. In Psalms, we read that king David asked for help in seeing God’s greatness when his earthly circumstances overwhelmed him. When we are overwhelmed, we need to start by remembering how great our God is. David prays, “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” God is the rock of our salvation.
Revelations 4:8b, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”
Today’s prayer: Oh, Father, help us remember your greatness amidst our troubles. Help us not forget that you are holy and sovereign, and our problems pale compared to your strength and power.