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Matthew 6:8-9

Matthew 6:8-9
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Matthew 6:8-9, “…your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”


Short Thoughts:

When we pray this, we are asking for the beauty of God’s identity—as He has made it known in the crucified and risen Son—to illuminate and saturate and dominate every facet of reality through the work of His Spirit in the lives of His people…


Longer Thoughts (from this morning’s journal):

…When we know that God is our Father and when we know that He knows our needs before we ask Him, the first expression of our hearts ought to be to join our wills to His own in a desire to see His Name exalted, His Name reverenced, His Name feared, His Name trusted, His Name magnified. This inaugural petition of the Lord’s prayer aligns our priorities and passions with those of our Father—and, indeed, of our Elder Brother. And the petitions that follow accomplish the same end. Each request of the “Lord’s Prayer” is a way—yes, of petitioning the Father—but also of conforming our souls to the image of His own soul.

Two final thoughts. First, how awesome is it that the initial petition in the prayer that God the Son teaches His people to pray to God the Father, in the power of God the Spirit, is: Hallowed be your Name!

THAT is first and foremost on the heart of our God, that HIS Name, that HIS character, that HIS identity, that HIS Beauty be recognized and cherished, known and loved, seen and feared. The Beauty of Who God Is, lifted up above all things, treasured beyond all things, reverenced over all things….this is the central and controlling passion of God’s heart, this is the greatest and only final good for creation, and this ought to be the prayer of our hearts as well. Hallowed be HIS NAME….that is the prayer that JESUS teaches us to pray! Yes, see the glorious God-centeredness of God! The Son teaches us to pray—before all else—Hallowed be the Name of the Father! And such a prayer can only be prayed in the Spirit….so, here is the operation of the Trinity within this text: the Spirit enables us to receive and obey the Son, who teaches us to hallow the Name of the Father, for whom, through whom and to whom are all things.

And secondly, what is this “Name” that God Himself is so passionate to see hallowed above and beyond and before all else? What is His Name? Of course—beautifully—we know what it is because we have received it in the person and work of the beloved Son to whom the Father has given His name (John 17:11; Phil 2:6-11), and who—in life, death, and resurrection (John 17:26; Phil 2:6-11 etc.)—has definitively manifested that name to us. What is the Name of the Father that He desires to be hallowed? It is the Name / Character / Identity / Excellence / Beauty / Glory communicated to us in the person of the incarnate Son….it is the Name made known definitively when the Son of God offers up His entire being in love to the Father and love for His enemies….it is the Name declared when the One who is Himself Eternal God lays down His life on the cross, pours out His blood from the cross, offers up His body to be shattered at the cross, bearing the wickedness of His people in Himself, enduring the curse of His people in Himself, dying the death of His people in Himself, and rising again into new creational life……My life for yours; my poverty for your wealth; my damnation for your salvation; my wounding for your healing; my exile from the heart of joy so that you might be welcomed in and seated at the table of God’s own delight; steadfast love and faithfulness to the uttermost to the end that that rebellious enemies might know and enjoy God as their all-satisfying good; Sinners trampled in the wine press of God’s holy wrath in the crucified Christ, so that in the risen Christ, sinners might drink the wine of God’s own blessedness —that is the Name, that is the Character, that is the Identity that the Triune God intends to be hallowed above all else.

So, when we pray, “Father, hallowed be your Name!” We are asking for the beauty of the cross to be exalted; we are praying for the gospel of the glory of the crucified and risen Son in whom we know the Father to go forth, to conquer, to claim hearts and minds and lives; we are asking for the knowledge of the identity of God in the face of Jesus Christ to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea; we are longing for a world in which the glory of God is the light and the slain and risen Lamb is the lamp, in which the life-giving river of the Spirit carries the fullness of the Father in the Son from the throne into all the earth; in which every facet of reality is irradiated by the illumination of the Spirit with the surpassing excellence of who the One True God is within Himself as He has made this known outside of Himself in the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. Ah, Lord! May it be so more and more, Father Hallowed be your Name!