It is always amazing when God allows us to see the Holy Spirit testifying to Himself. Such is the case today in regards to the topic of prayer and sanctification. For some time now I have been following along with the OneCry prayer guide. Each month is a different focus regarding spiritual awakening for our nation. Today’s prayer focus is:
Pray that those who write and produce material for the purpose of public entertainment will be convicted that using profanity or taking God’s name in vain is wrong (Deuteronomy 5:11).
Imagine how excited I was when I realized that God already had me working several weeks ago on today’s post: Prayer and Sanctification Part 1. I have never considered the Lord’s prayer to have anything to do with sanctification until reading through the book The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul. If you have been following along in this series you might think that is all I have read the past few days. Rest assured, it is not. However, there were some profound nuggets tucked away in many of its pages. Among them are the following words which gave me a different perception of the Lord’s prayer.
What is the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer? Jesus said, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven…’” (Matthew 6:9). The first line of the prayer is not a petition. It is a form of personal address. The prayer continues: “hallowed be your name, your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:9-10). We often confuse the words “hallowed be your name” with part of the address, as if the word were “hallowed is your name.” In that case, the words would merely be an ascription of praise to God. But that is not how Jesus said it. He uttered it as a petition, as the first petition. We should be praying that God’s name be hallowed, that God be regarded as holy.
There is a kind of sequence within the prayer. God’s kingdom will never come where His name is not considered holy. His will is not done on earth as it is in heaven if His name is desecrated here. In heaven the name of God is holy. It is breathed by angels in a sacred hush. Heaven is a place where reverence for God is total. It is foolish to look for the kingdom anywhere God is not revered (16).
See how it ties into the OneCry focal prayer for today? God’s name is to BE hallowed. Obviously, His name is hallowed, but as believers, we are to protect His name and proclaim the purity of His name. His name alone is sacred and holy. If this is the case, then we too must allow His name to be hallowed in our own lives. Then and only then will God’s name be hallowed!!
Lord forgive us for profaning Your name. Forgive us for taking Your name in vain. Clean our mouths so that we do not curse and bless from the same lips that Your name should be hallowed. Bring Your kingdom by hallowing Your name in our lives!