9 “Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.’”
Matthew 6:9 (ESV)
Think for a moment about your sport of choice. What is that one thing -- a core fundamental -- that you never grow beyond? You can hone that skill to the nth degree, but you can’t ever drop it from your game or you’re done.
In the Christian life, that one thing is prayer. Yes, there are many other things we need to do (read our Bible, live in community, share our faith), but none of them get any traction apart from our conversations with God. Prayer is how we start our relationship with God, and it is the essence of our union with Him every day thereafter.
So, it’s no surprise that Jesus gave us a basic blueprint to follow in our efforts to connect with our Creator. It’s not so much a script to recite as it is an outline prompting us to pray in light of who God is and what we most need as His children.
Speaking of children, that’s how Jesus tells us to approach God; as sons and daughters of a heavenly Father. He is the One who made us. He is the One who sustains us. And He is the One who sacrificed His Son so that we could be adopted into His family.
Before anything else, Jesus wants us to remember we’re talking to Daddy, not some impersonal, all-powerful being in the sky. Athlete, our heavenly Father loves His kids more than we are even able to fully comprehend.
In light of all that our Father is, and all that He has done for us, He alone is worthy of praise and honor from the hearts of His children. After acknowledging God as father, we’re prompted to pray that He (His name) would be hallowed; held in the highest regard, holy and exalted above all, and by all.
Whether you’re new to prayer or a seasoned vet, take some time today to talk to God about what it means to you to call Him Father. After that, praise Him for all of His attributes/qualities and pray that His holiness would be evident in your life to the people around you.