As we study prayer at Open Door, we have been encouraged to pray the Lord’s Prayer three times a day this week.
As I prayed this morning, I was struck by how God-centric the prayer is. The “we” who are praying the “Our Father” prayer are honoring God and making petitions to God: hallowed be thy name… thy kingdom come; thy will be done; give us; forgive us; lead us; deliver us.
There is only one thing that refers to our own actions, and even this action does not stand on its own, it is somehow bound up with one of the petitions: as we forgive. Given the angst and anguish among Christians in the past weeks, this prayer becomes for me a grounding prayer and as such, oddly enough, a prayer of serenity.
We cannot and should not pray – “thy kingdom come thy will be done” without first praying “hallowed be thy name.” There cannot be peace in this world (kingdom shalom if you will) apart from the hallowing of God’s name.
It is the knowledge of God which leads us to hallowing his name. It is hallowing God’s name that leads to shalom-making (thy kingdom come thy will be done). And this is what shalom-making looks like:
“3 For though we live as human beings, we do not wage war according to human standards, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments 5 and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
“We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God” – thy kingdom come;
“We take every thought captive to make it obey Christ” – thy will be done.