“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1
“The Lord’s Prayer” (or the “Our Father”) wasn’t invented on the ball field or in the halls of a cathedral. It was a simple, model prayer that Jesus shared with His disciples.
In response to the question, Jesus wasn’t giving a poem to memorize. He was, instead, teaching them how to pray. This teaching walks His disciples through a simple progression that frees us to pray more effectively.
In the first line of this model prayer, Jesus says, “Father, hallowed be your name… (Luke 11:2).”
Let me simplify this, because to me this line has always been confusing.
The word Jesus uses in the original Greek when He says “Father” is a word that would have described “the originator and creator of all things.” This word is used often in the Scriptures and is always translated “Father”. Just as my kids wouldn’t be here with me, so all of this life wouldn’t be here without our God.
Then Jesus follows with “hallowed be your name”.
The word translated “hallowed be” literally references the action of separating the things that please God from those things that do not please God. The word is more often translated “sanctify”.
Then the word translated “name” isn’t a very specific word. Jesus doesn’t use a proper name of God. He, instead, uses a word that’s very broad. The word He uses describes “all that is associated to a name.”
Let me put this all together for you, so that we can START our prayer the way Jesus taught us…
Jesus is described as the “creator of all things” (Colossians 1:16). We wouldn’t be right with God without Him. He is the origin of our connection with God, and the author of our story through God.
Jesus describes himself as “the way, the truth, and the life” in John 14:6. If it’s the wrong way, a lie, or death, then it cannot be found in Jesus.
As we begin our prayers, Jesus is showing us that we should always start with focusing our hearts on Him.
Start your prayers by acknowledging that He alone is your source. Confess that you’ve tried to find your way, your truth, and your life in others. Allow Him to separate those things in your perspective, and lean into Him.
If we start with Jesus, our prayers will always be directed to the One who wants to be our greatest Friend, the One who has already paid the price to overcome whatever we’re facing!
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How can you create a great focus on Jesus as you pray?