From the Word
“Pray then like this, ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’” Matthew 9:9-10
Why do we pray the Lord’s Prayer so frequently? We do so because it is a gift from Jesus Himself to us to use in our prayers. It is a wondrous prayer that also instructs us how to pray and the things to pray for. Satan will tempt us to say this prayer mindlessly, and sometimes we do. It is fitting, therefore, to periodically remind ourselves what is contained in this gift from Jesus to us. For a greater discussion on this subject I would refer you to Luther’s Small Catechism. For now a brief comment in this and the next Epistle article might be helpful.
Our Father in heaven. What a blessing it is to be able to address God as Father. This is not something we can simply do in our natural state. Many mainly associate God as being our Father with the fact that He created us. While that is true, Scripture points us mainly to the fact that God has paid the adoption price for us in the blood of Jesus. We also see his fatherly love for us in that act. It is in the sending of Jesus that we see the depth of love God has for us, and are able to apply that depth of love to what He provides for us daily.
Hallowed (holy) is Your name. God is perfect and holy from eternity. Our sinful condition makes us unable to fully, or mostly, comprehend the complete holiness of God. This petition confesses that. But we primarily ask God in this Petition to make His name holy, first and foremost in us. We ask the Spirit to use us as the instruments of glorifying God in our homes, our neighborhoods, our workplaces, and our world.
Your kingdom come. The kingdom has come. God established His kingdom on earth in the people of Israel as the means of God fulfilling His promise to save us. His kingdom has come in fullness of grace when Jesus came to earth to fulfill God’s promise. He uses us to bring the Gospel to people that they may be part of the kingdom. He will come again to take us into the fullness of his presence in heaven. We pray for all this to be true of us, and evident through us as a witness to the world. We pray for His return, that we may forever experience the fullness of joy.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The will of God is that all people come to the knowledge of the truth and become members of His kingdom. His will for our daily life is found in the Ten Commandments. We pray here that He would work in us to refrain from those things the Law forbids, do those things positive things we are called to do in love for others, and be witnesses that the Spirit may use us as the means of accomplishing His will to bring others to saving faith.
Lord, remember us in Your kingdom and teach us to pray.