“This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” (Matthew 6:9)
The story of Jesus – the Son of God – is a story of simplicity and deep reverence of God.
He came as the Father’s Son, yet without any “bells and whistles”.
Jesus’ teachings reveal that God doesn’t require rigid observation of endless rules and regulations; doesn’t require elaborate and costly religious ceremonies and rituals. A simple and content life, honoring God, will do.
Daily life provides ample opportunities to worship God – actually, the everyday life – lived in reverence of God is the worship that pleases God.
The two “acts” that Jesus “instituted” are an example of the simplicity that characterizes Jesus and His life and ministry.
The Lord’s Supper: “Do this in remembrance of Me…” (Luke 22:19). The bread and wine is one of the simplest possible meals that there could be: simple in its presentation, yet rich in symbolism and meaning.
The Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your name…” (Matt. 6:9). Here we have a prayer, again, simple, yet all encompassing – honouring God which puts oneself under His authority and care.
Clearly, Jesus purpose was to embed in people’s minds the thought that the divine is all around, all the time, if one has “eyes” to see it – eyes of faith.
The prayer comes after Jesus exposed two commonly used practices that had nothing to do with prayer: location and elocution.
What Jesus is saying through these negative examples is, “When it comes to prayer, keep it simple!”
By hallowing (sanctifying/setting aside) God’s name, we attach ourselves to the heavenly beings (Rev.4:8) and the whole creation (Ps.19:1) and become part of the mighty chorus/assembly that brings glory to God.
Let this year be a year of living lives that hallow God’s name!