9 Pray like this:
Our Father who is in heaven,
uphold the holiness of your name.
Jesus taught the disciples how to pray this amazing, power filled prayer of promise to transform the world. It could really be called the disciples’ prayer because every follower of Jesus learns how to pray it. But are we just saying it, or are we really praying it? This short prayer is our blue print for discipleship, reminding us of God’s mission of love for the world, and of how we are to love God and love others. Jesus even includes petitions for our daily needs, forgiveness, protection and deliverance.
“Our.” The prayer starts with “Our Father” not “my” Father. Jesus tells us we are part of the Kin(g)-dom family, as children of God. We can pray this prayer alone, but this prayer invites us into the body of Christ as we pray this prayer together. Praying this prayer changes us both individually and as a community, and aligns our will with God’s will, for the transformation of the world.
Jesus calls God “Abba,” similar to Daddy, to show us that God desires a close relationship with us. Using the title Father may be problematic for many who have suffered from imperfect human fathers. But God, as our divine parent, loves and cares for us, seeks only good for us and will never leave us.
God is in heaven, the holy dwelling place, and God is holy. Wherever God is, it is made holy. Holy describes the character of God: loving, merciful, compassionate, all powerful, above all things, unchanging, ever-present, just, eternal, and righteous. We love God and feel reverential awe in God’s loving presence.
When we pray “uphold the holiness of your name” we are praying that God’s character will continue to be revealed. We are praying that God’s character will be revealed as it was revealed to us through Jesus. Only God can reveal God’s holy character on earth, because we can distort or misrepresent God in our own image. The more we pray this, the more God’s love for us is revealed in us and we will revere and cherish God’s name.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Jesus asks us to “pray like this” so that in praying this prayer of transformation, we may be transformed. Are you just saying this prayer, or are you really praying the Lord’s Prayer? Going forward, how does accepting this prayer as a transformative prayer for yourself and the world change the way you will pray it? How do you show reverence and love for God’s name?
Prayer: Holy God, we love and revere your name! Help us to become like Jesus, unite us as one body in Christ that we may all pray for the transformation of the world. Amen.