Read Matthew 6:9-13
The Lord’s prayer is divided into two halves:
- V9-10 Three petitions concerned with the glory of God: God’s name, God’s Kingdom, God’s will.
- V11-13 Three petitions concerned with our needs: Our daily bread, our forgiveness and our rescue.
It mirrors the Ten Commandments which begins with a relationship with God before our relationship with others.
Concern for God’s glory can stop us approaching God like a cosmic vending machine for everything we want in life.
God’s name: a name stands for the person who bears it. In marketing terms that crudely refers to branding. We’ve all seen the impact of a brand name being decimated overnight. A name is much more than a label. From it comes character, integrity, behaviour, nature and activity. God’s name is above all other names, including our own. This prayer aligns our desire for God’s hallowing in our lives, church and ultimately our world.
God’s Kingdom: is His royal rule. To pray for His Kingdom to come is to yearn for its extension and growth in our world. As people respond & submit to Jesus’ lordship, that kingdom inches forward.
God’s will: Because His will is perfect in knowledge, love and power it is sheer folly to resist and wisdom to follow according to Proverbs.
So, the first half of the Lord’s prayer orders our priorities. We pray for God’s name to be honoured, God’s will to be actioned and God’s Kingdom to enlarge. This is in stark contrast to my human nature that left to itself, shrinks to a canvas that wants to see my name honoured, my will done and my kingdom grown.
It’s easy to recite the Lord’s prayer like a parrot mimicking the sounds but to pray it sincerely and authentically has radical implications. When you pray do you want God to have the glory?
Ideas taken from John Stott's commentary The Message of the Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5-7