When we examine the example Jesus provided to instruct his disciples on prayer, we notice there is an opening adoration, seven petitions, and a grateful closing. The praise and thanksgiving that bookend our prayer time remind us what the God requires of all who enter His presence (Psalm 100:4). The Psalmist also reminds us to bless His holy name. Why is it important to reverence God and bless His name?
God is holy. He is the All-holy, Holy One beyond the power of thought to grasp or of word to express. God’s holiness is what separates Him from the entire created order. We hallow His name because there is none like Him. Reverencing His name is the posture of prayer that puts God first and our requests and needs second. We must realize that our needs are secondary to the plans and purposes of God. Acknowledging that will certainly shape our prayers.
God is set apart in glorious distinction. The only way we can know God is if He chooses to reveal Himself to us. The infinite God has done this in His Word through many names and titles. His names tell us Who He is! There is not space to discuss all 953 names and titles of God. Each name and title reveals an aspect of who God is and what He does for His people. Those unique names guide our prayers. We call on those names saying we believe this is who God is and ask Him to act in accordance to His revealed name. We also ask that His name would be glorified as He answers our prayers.
The Lord must be preeminent in our prayers and hallowing His name ensures that. When we come before the Lord in prayer, we focus on Him and not ourselves. We express our desire to bow before the Lord in humble submission and reverence. We want to honor Him by what we request, asking in a way worthy of His name. We also know that His name guides our prayers because of who He reveals Himself to be by His names.
We live for the glory of God. When we pray, we are seeking the glory of His great name as the ultimate end of our request. I am not merely praying that someone be healed from cancer, or a sickness, or a disease. I am ultimately praying that God would receive great glory from that situation. Think about the man born blind in John 9. Why did that happen? Jesus said it was for the glory of God. All my prayers and your prayers must be focused on the glory of God first and foremost. Only then are we in harmony with the plans and purposes of the Lord who will be glorified.
Pastor Chris Thompson