By Judy Laredo

Matthew 6:9

Prayer: What is prayer? The simplest way to define prayer is "talking to God."

Prayer can be audible or silent. Prayer can be private or public. Prayer can be formal or informal. However, all prayer must be offered in faith. James 1:6 (NKJV) "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind."

Prayer is the primary way to communicate with God. In prayer, we are conversing, worshipping, fellowshipping, and praising God. We do not pray to "saints" or angels, or to anyone or anything else for that matter. No where in the Bible are we taught or instructed to do this. Revelation 19:10 (NLT) "Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, "No, don't worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus."

True prayer is directed to God our Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of the -indwelling- Holy Spirit. When we pray, all three Persons of the Godhead are involved. Ephesians 2:18 (NLT)"Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us." And Ephesians 5:20 (NASB) "always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father"

Prayer is our soul, expressing, crying out our desires, our emotions and our needs to God our Father, the Creator of our soul. The bible describes prayer as pouring out one's soul to the Lord: 1 Samuel 1:15 (NKJV) "But Hannah answered and said, "No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD."

Prayer is also described as crying out to God: 2 Chronicles 32:20 (NLT) "Then King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to God in heaven."

Prayer draws us near to God: Psalm 145:18 (NKJV) "The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth." And, as prayer draws us near to God, prayer also changes us. In his bible study on prayer, Pastor Greg Laurie said, "Prayer changes us. It's not to change God. Prayer, is to align our requests to the will and purpose of God, not the other way around."

Alexander MacLaren in his commentary on the Lord's prayer, said, "The true end of prayer is to get our wills harmonized with His, not to bend His to ours." Warren Wiersbe said that "The purpose of prayer is to glorify God’s name and to ask for help to accomplish His will on earth."

Matthew 6:9 (NKJV) "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name."

IN THIS MANNER: Can be translated as: likewise; in this way; or, in like manner. Jesus gave us a template, an example, a model, if you will, for how we should pray. He was saying, to pray like this, or to this effect. 
 In the King James Version of the Bible, Jesus said, "AFTER this manner, therefore pray ye". He did not say "IN these words, pray." Jesus was teaching His disciples, and us, how to pray without using "vain repetitions." In other words, babbling on (blah, blah, blah) or praying in a mindless and heartless manner.

Our prayers must be genuine, sincere, with the right attitude, the right mindset, and with a heartfelt desire to seek God and do His will. We want our prayers to be lifted heavenwards, not just words that bounce off the ceiling and fall to the ground.  

THEREFORE: The word "Therefore" means: Now then, or for that reason. I'm sure you already know, but just to clarify, the word "therefore" serves as a transitional word to take us from, “we’ve just discussed a big truth, now here’s why it matters.”

And how many times have we heard our pastors say to us how important it is to understand in our Bible reading what the "therefore" is there for? So, what is the word "therefore," there for? Jesus just finished teaching His disciples about how not to pray, using vain repetitions as the heathen do. He said do not to be like them. So, in this manner, therefore, pray.  

PRAY: To supplicate; to petition; to worship; to praise. We talk to God; we offer prayers to God; we ask God! God already knows what we need, what we're going to ask, even what we think. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 6:8, that their "…Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him." Psalm 139:4 (NASB) "Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, LORD, You know it all." Hebrews 4:13 (NLT) "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and He is the One to whom we are accountable."

So, you may ask, if God already knows everything, and knows all our needs, why should we pray? I just happened to come across the sermon "Ask and Have" by Charles Spurgeon, on the internet and wanted to share a portion he wrote on prayer. Spurgeon writes, "However, brethren, whether we like it or not, remember, asking is the rule of the kingdom. “Ask, and ye shall receive.” It is a rule that never will be altered in anybody’s case. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the elder brother of the family, but God has not relaxed the rule for him. Remember this text: Jehovah says to his own Son, “Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” If the royal and divine Son of God cannot be exempted from the rule of asking that he may have, you and I cannot expect the rule to be relaxed in our favor. Why should it be? . . . God will bless Elijah and send rain on Israel, but Elijah must pray for it. If the chosen nation is to prosper Samuel must plead for it. If the Jews are to be delivered Daniel must intercede. God will bless Paul, and the nations shall be converted through him, but Paul must pray. Pray he did without ceasing; his epistles show that he expected nothing except by asking for it. If you may have everything by asking, and nothing without asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is, and I beseech you to abound in it."

The Bible tells us that Jesus often went away, alone, to pray to His Heavenly Father. Matthew 14:23 (NKJV) "And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray . . ." Mark 1:35 (NKJV) "Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed." Luke 5:16 (NKJV) "So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed." So, then, if Jesus often prayed to His Father in heaven, how much more should we?

OUR FATHER: In the Vine's Expository Dictionary, Father is from a root signifying "a nourisher, protector, upholder." Chuck Smith, in his commentary, said, "The first and most important thing for prayer is relationship. He is our Father. Prayer is a privilege for God's children. I can come to God with my petition because I have a relationship with God. And this relationship has come through His Son, Jesus Christ. The next in importance is the address. Who are you addressing your prayer to? Jesus said that our prayers should be addressed to the Father in care of Jesus. John 14:13 "And whatsoever things you ask the Father in My name, that will I do that the Father might be glorified in the Son.” Before we bring our needs to our Father, we need to meditate for a moment on the greatness and power of His Person."  

The ESV Global Study Bible writes: "In Matthew chapter 6 verses 6 and 9, Jesus encourages His disciples to call God their Father. This reminds believers that God has adopted them as His children because of Jesus." Romans 8:15 (ESV) "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"

Galatians 4:6 (ESV) "And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" And as Nicole pointed out in her introduction to this bible study, The Heart of Prayer, "Abba" is the word for Father in Aramaic. WHO ART IN HEAVEN: Heaven. The Blue Letter Bible describes heaven as "the area where God resides high above the starry skies, the seat of absolute eternal order and flawless perfection. A place where God dwells, and other heavenly beings."

Deuteronomy 10:14 (NKJV) "Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it."

Nehemiah 9:6 (NKJV) "You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You."

Psalm 103:19 (NKJV) "The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all."

HALLOWED BE: Hallowed. So, two questions usually arise here. 1. What does it mean to hallow God's name? and, 2. How do we hallow God's name?

First, hallowed means: to sanctify; to revere; to set apart as Holy; to be held in reverence. This can also be translated as, "Your name is holy." We are to have a high regard for the holiness of God’s name. Matthew Henry, in his commentary, said, "We must begin our prayers with praising God. It is fitting that He should be first served, and that we should give glory to God, before we expect to receive mercy and grace from Him. Let Him have praise of His perfections, and then let us have the benefit of them."

So, in other words, we bring our worship and adoration before we bring our petitions. John 4:23-24 (NKJV) 23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

The Bible Reference commentary states, "Because of God’s holiness and majesty, He is deserving of the highest level of reverence. The "name of God" brings with it unlimited power and purity. Proclaiming to God, that His name is holy, is to acknowledge His absolute greatness." When we come before the Lord in prayer, we bring our adoration. And by doing that, we remind ourselves that God is greater, and nothing is impossible with God.

The second question is, How do we hallow God's name? It begins with our thoughts, our attitudes and our actions. It is by the way we choose to live. Micah 6:8 (NKJV) "He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"

Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV) "1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

Colossians 1:10 (NKJV) "that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

We have been given the opportunity and the privilege to know God. By reading and studying His word, we learn about the nature, character and attributes of God. Proverbs 8:17 (NKJV) "I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me."

YOUR NAME: "God Himself as revealed and manifested." The "Name" of God as expressing His identity, His nature, His attributes. His name implies authority, character, rank, majesty, power, excellence, etc., of everything that the "name" covers. “In the original Hebrew, God’s name transliterates to YHWH (sometimes written in the older style as YHVH). 
This is known as the tetragrammaton (meaning “four letters”). Some versions of the Bible translate the tetragrammaton as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah”; most translate it as “LORD” (all capital letters).” (GotQuestions)

In Chuck Smith's commentary, he writes, "We are not certain of the correct pronunciation, Yahweh or Yahovah. The Jews felt that the name was too holy to cross the lips of man, thus in the Hebrew text you only find the consonants YHVH."

"God’s name—His character and reputation—must be set apart as holy, and that is what Jesus teaches us to pray for when He said, 'Hallowed be Your name'" (GotQuestions). We are to show the highest degree of reverence to God and to His name, by only mentioning Him in respectful and honoring ways.  

Boice, in his commentary, writes, “The Bible calls God ‘holy’ more than anything else, more than ‘Sovereign’, more than ‘Just’, more than ‘merciful’ or ‘loving.’ In fact, ‘holy’ is the only title of God that is repeated three times for emphasis . . ." Isaiah 6:3 (NASB) "And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of armies. The whole earth is full of His glory."

Revelation 4:8 (NASB) "And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY IS THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, who was and who is and who is to come."

Charles Spurgeon writes in his commentary, “. . . His power is not his choicest jewel, nor his sovereignty, but his holiness.” AW Tozer said, ". . . God’s nature and attributes, the totality of His being, and especially His glory are reflected in His name." Psalm 99:3 (NKJV) "Let them praise Your great and awesome name--He is holy."

David Guzik, about God's holiness, said, "God’s holiness is a part of everything He is and does. God’s power is a holy power. God’s love is a holy love. God’s wisdom is a holy wisdom. Holiness is not an aspect of God’s personality; it is the essence of His entire Being."

Just to help us all understand about attributes, the attributes of God are truths that are ascribed to God. It is God's essential nature and character. For instance, love is a truth ascribed to God, as is light, righteous, etc.

In his commentary on the Lord's prayer, Matthew Henry prayed, "Father, let Thy name be glorified as a Father, and a Father in heaven; glorify Thy goodness and Thy highness, Thy majesty and mercy. Let Thy name be sanctified, for it is a holy name."

God is HOLY. He, His name, must be hallowed. Chuck Smith said of the meaning of the name "I AM", "He is the Becoming One. To His children, God will become to you whatever you need."

Now, we all know in the Bible, the LORD God of Israel is known by many names and titles, but not a single one of them is Bro, Dude or Big Guy in the Sky! He is our Father in Heaven and His name must be hallowed.

OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME: His Name: He is the Becoming One, He is the Author and Perfector of our faith, He is the All-Sufficient One, the Creator of all things.

He is the Bright and Morning Star, the Renewer of Life. He is Savior, our blessed Redeemer, the Good Shepherd, the Door, the Light of the world, the True Vine, the Bread of Life, and Fountain of Living Waters. He is our Shield, our Rock, our Advocate, our Comforter, our Teacher (Adonai), our Anchor and our Rest. He is Ancient of Days, a Jealous God, a Consuming Fire, and God our Avenger.

He is the First born of the dead, and the last Adam, the Root of Jesse and the Offspring of David, He is the Consolation of Israel, the Branch, the King Eternal, Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. He is King of kings, King of the Jews, and He is King of the Nations. He is the Lord of lords, the Lord of Glory, and He is the Lord our Righteousness. He is Immanuel, God our Provider, and God our Banner. He is Mighty in Battle, our Lawgiver and Judge, He is our Great High Priest, the Lord of Sabaoth, the Lord of the Harvest, and our Prince of Peace.

He is the Rose of Sharon, the Beloved Son, the Horn of Salvation, the Anointed One. He is the Image of God, the Cornerstone, the Holy One of Israel, Ruler, Mediator, Shiloh, our Intercessor, the Everlasting God, the Almighty.

He is Christ, the Chosen One, Man of sorrows, the Seed of Woman, our Passover. He is the Holy One of God, the Living God, the Son of God, the God Most High, Prophet. He is the Commander of Lord's army, the God who Sees, the God who Hears, the God who Heals, the God who Forgives, and the God who Sanctifies.

He is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, the One True God, Messiah. He is the God Who was and the God Who is, the All-Powerful, Mighty God who alone is Sovereign and Wise, Faithful and True, Trustworthy and Good, He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Resurrection, the Lover of our souls, our Merciful God, our Sanctuary. He is the Self Existent One, our Defender, our Father in Heaven, Mighty Creator, and the LORD of Hosts.

He is the One who goes before us, the God Who's There, our Forerunner, who will never leave us, nor forsake us. He is our Refuge, our Fortress, our Hiding Place, and our Sure Foundation. He is our Potter, our Helper, our Deliverer, our Strong Tower.

He is the Son of David, and the Son of Man, He is the Lamb of God, and the great I AM. You are the Perfect Sacrifice, the Lion of Judah, the Word of God, the Wisdom of God, our Master. He is Immutable, our All-in-All, He is our everything, He Transcend all things, He is Heir of all things, and He is before all things. He is Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, He is our exceedingly Great Reward, our Bridegroom. He is our ABBA, the One who is to come, Yahweh, the Only Begotten Son, The Amen.

God is love and He is Holy, Holy, Holy. His grace is sufficient, His love has no bounds, His mercies are new every morning. He redeemed our lives from destruction and crowns us with lovingkindness, and His compassions fail not. He is the Name above all names. Yeshua HaMashiach! JESUS! The Living Word of God.

Hallowed be Your name. "O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!" Psalm 8:9