Whenever we recite the Lord’s Prayer, we must guard against thoughtlessly spewing out these overly-familiar words. Empty repetition falls short of prayer’s intention of simply talking to God. But have we not compounded our transgression when we pray this prayer and remain ignorant of some of what we’re actually pleading? Babbling on and on is troublesome, but repeatedly speaking to God without understanding what we’ve just prayed crosses the border of irreverence.
Allow me to provide an illustration of my concern. We recite, “Hallowed be Thy Name.” When did God change His Name? His personal Name is “Jehovah,” His Title is “God,” and His relationship to us is “Our Father”. So where did Jesus come up with renaming His Dad and our Father, “Hallowed”? What does this even mean?
When I was a kid and learned to recite the Lord’s Prayer, I possessed no clue as to what this phrase meant. At first, I thought Jesus was renaming God, “Arthur.” That’s right; logical deduction from a 5-year old who thinks literally: “Our Father, which Art in Heaven.” Then later, I began to think more abstractly; so I concluded that the phrase had something to do with God at Halloween; though I never quite could make a logical connection between the two.
Why not come this Sunday to learn what I finally did learn about this phrase years later? It’s never too late to learn something from even the most familiar.