The basics: Praying the kingdom 1

2015-10.1

Matthew 6:9

Monday, March 9, 2015

Loving to learn from the Father

Father And Son Working On Machinery

This practice raises all kids of health and safety issues for us today, yet the principle of Father-son apprenticeship is a picture to hold onto. We hallow – show to be holy – the Father by showing the world His ways and attitudes.

Matthew 6:9
This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…”

IMITATION, the saying goes, is the sincerest form of flattery. God does not need our insincere flattery, but the more we know Him and appreciate His goodness and His Father nature, the more we will simply want to be like Him.

That’s probably not the first thought we hold in saying these words. “Our Father… hallowed by Your name” is more of an expression of adoration. And that’s where it must start.

Jesus is leading us into a model prayer which is all about intimacy and trust. The Romans looked to worship Caesar and an array of other gods; the Greeks idea of praying was a kind of plea-bargaining to the god of their choice, reciting reasons for favour and arguments for leniency – the pagans and their many words. Jews, especially the Pharisee party, made a lot out of performance but often lacked heart. Don’t imitate then, Jesus said.

Bargaining with God — who hasn’t fallen into that trap?

And here’s another trap of wrong thinking. Jesus teaches us not to ‘do business’ with an exacting, critical deity, but to come to a compassionate Father who knows our needs. It is in that relationship that our security is found. We adore Him by learning and living His ways. God is received INTO us, but He is seen by others THROUGH us.

This is how we hallow the name and character of the Father.

CHECK IT OUT

  • When have you prayed to inform God (He knows!) and to present moral arguments to God (He sees through them!)?
  • So what, then, is a good basis for reasoning with God?
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