Ann Farabee: Our Father
The first graders shut their eyes, folded their hands prayerfully, and began to pray, “Our Father, Which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name…” One would recognize this as quite the spiritual moment – until one student could not contain herself as she began laughing. Everyone stopped and looked as she exclaimed, “God’s name is not HALLOWEEN!”
Oh, she may have heard – and repeated – the prayer before, but this time the word ‘hallowed’ had obviously made an impact.
Sometimes, spoken words can become rote – habitually repeated – and the meaning becomes lost – or as in this case – the meaning was completely unknown.
The Lord’s Prayer is a prayer Jesus taught his disciples – and one we can use as a pattern for our prayers. The words prayed are words of praise for God, of prayer for God’s work in the world, and are requests for our needs and for help with our struggles.
Our Father –
Not just my Father, but our Father. He is ruler. He is majestic. Our Creator. He loves us with a personal love – the love of a father.
Which art –
Not just was. Not just is. Not just will be. He is all three.
In heaven –
He is in heaven – but hears us on earth.
Hallowed be thy Name –
His name is Holy. Recognize who He is. Praise Him. Be aware of His Presence.
Thy Kingdom come –
God has set eternity in our hearts. There is a longing in our hearts to be with our Father.
Thy will be done in earth –
God’s reign on earth in the believer’s heart. His will in us. God’s perfect purpose.
As it is in heaven –
God’s spiritual reign when evil is destroyed and a new heaven and earth is here.
Give us this day our daily bread –
God sustains. God provides.
And forgive us our trespasses –
As we forgive those who trespass against us –
We are to forgive.
And lead us not into temptation –
He will protect us. He will strengthen us.
But deliver us from evil –
He is our deliverer.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever. Amen –
He is sovereign. He is all powerful. He deserves the glory – for ever.