Posted: 09 Jan 2011 12:00 AM PST
Imagine that you have been granted an audience with the king. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for—the chance to bring your requests before his majesty. The great doors open, and you are standing before the throne. In awe and reverence, you first address the king. It would be improper to just begin asking for your needs.
Jesus instructed His disciples, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name’” (Matthew 6:9).
The dictionary defines hallow as “to make or set apart as holy.” God is holy. He is sovereign and omniscient. He is the King of kings, the Creator of the universe. When we place our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, He becomes our heavenly Father. As such, we have the honor and the privilege of being able to come to Him in prayer.
It is important that we know the character of God, and honor and revere Him in our prayers, actions, and thoughts. God’s character is pure, holy, flawless, loving, compassionate, righteous, just, merciful, kind, long-suffering, honest, true, dependable, faithful, and understanding.
The more we know about God, the more we grow in fellowship with Him. This carries over into our prayers. Placing Him first and foremost in our minds keeps our focus on Him instead of on our needs and desires.
However, Jesus did not intend for our prayers to become ritualistic. Nor does He tell us how to pray. But by beginning with God’s name, we are reminded that we are coming before almighty God. As children of God, we have been given free access to the throne room of the King of kings. We can address the King as our Father. There is no greater honor!
O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you (Psalm 89:8).