1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name… Lk. 11:1-2
I wish to apologise to the readers of this blog for the long delay in posting this article. These are the kinds of setbacks that make Mr. Trump to lose his patience with Africans, branding them “lazy” and gallivanting all across the land. I can’t blame him and he probably is right. But God is certainly more merciful than Trump and I trust that His grace and forgiveness will suffice to keep this post “alive” and that, despite its delay, it will still be a blessing to everyone who reads it.
But I love you all and I pray that God will bless you with all His spiritual blessings in the heavenly realm. We saw in the first part of this post that when our Lord Jesus Christ was down here on earth, He taught His disciples how to pray, and the first thing He taught them was to “hallow”, or extol our Father’s Name. Jesus taught them that, in our relationship with God, nothing is more important than our giving of praises and thanksgiving to Him. God simply exists to be praised for He is so much worthy to be praised. The Lord is to be praised always. From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same the Name of the Lord is to be praised. The most singular reason for “hallowing” God, we saw, is simply because of who He is.
But the Bible gives us another reason for praising God: we are to praise God for what He has done for us. The believer therefore has a double motivation for praising God!
Psalm 103 provides the best enumeration of the reasons we should praise the Lord. It says:
“1 A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.” Ps. 103:1-6
What a merciful and loving God we serve! Surely He is our Father. He watches over us and takes care of us as an eagle her young. Personally, I believe one could spend all of eternity praising and thanking God just for forgiving us our sins, if not for any other reason. Don’t you think so, too?
But the minute you accept that fact you will find you have a whole truckful of reasons to praise and thank God for. God has blessed in more ways than we can express. Most of His blessings are in the things that cannot be seen in the natural. Important as it is, food on the table is not the most important thing that God has done in our lives. The spiritual aspect of what He has blessed us with is of far more importance. And that is what the Bible talks of most – sometimes almost exclusively.
David, the Psalmist, was a rich man by any standards, but you do not see him mentioning horses and chariots, nor the many material things – or wives! – that he owned.
God wants to open our eyes so that we may see and appreciate the spiritual aspect of our relationship with Him. There are believers who see only the material and physical aspect of their relationship with God. But these things are temporal. That is why Jesus said,
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mat. 6:33).
The material and worldly things are not the real thing. They are only additions to the life that God has given us. The things we should be looking for and thanking God for are the things that pertain to the Kingdom of God, the spiritual things.
In the final part of this discourse, we shall see, surprisingly, how far God’s expectations are from ours in “hallowing” Him, as they are in everything.