What is at the top of your prayer list? What issue consumes your prayer life? When you bow your head, what is it that you seek with the most fervor and zeal?
Is it God's glory?
It may be argued that the Lord's prayer has a rank and file to it. The first three petitions focus on the Lord directly. The second three focus on our personal interests:
The first of the first petitions has to do with God's honor. It is, you may say, the "first and greatest commandment" of prayer, ranking before our daily bread and even our salvation.
To hallow is to regard as holy, sacred, and with great admiration. Negatively speaking, we may say that it forbids any flippant attitude towards the things of God, emptiness of heart for God, or irreligious use of those items which pertain to God.
What if we began to re-prioritize our prayers along these lines? What if, instead of starting our prayers with our needs and earth bound concerns, we asked for a greater reverence for God in our lives:
Would not many of our problems be corrected if we sought and achieved this by prayer?
To be sure, blasphemy increases problems. "I will prepare your grave, for you are vile," said the Lord (Nahum 1:4). We know that He does not hold him "guiltless who takes His name in vain."
But we also know that God will "honor those who honor him." (1 Sam 2:30). Does this not make it all the more imperative to pray for God's name to be hallowed?
It is not by chance that this statement stands at the head of the Lord's Prayer. The glory of God is to be the chief pursuit of our lives. Let this priority thus beget the priority of our prayer life: Hallowed be Thy name.
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A Reformed and family integrated Church in Ashland, Ohio.
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Ashland, OH 44805