Our Father in Heaven may your name be kept Holy - Matthew 6:9

The Lord’s prayer has been used for hundreds of years by the church during mass, families during dinner time and children at school. Many of us know it word for word because we have had to recite it over and over again, but what was Jesus trying to teach us when he spoke about prayer in Matt 6: 9-13?

Jesus wants to teach us about who God is to us, why we should communicate with Him and the significance of our relationship with Him. Prayer in simple terms is communication between man and God. It focuses on the relationship we have with God and our dependence on Him. With so much uncertainty and tragedy going on in our world at the moment, prayer is more important now more than ever. There is no doubt that praying can be difficult at times but if we want our lives to mean anything we have to talk to God, often.

Who should we pray to? From our knowledge of the bible, we know that there is a three person Godhead; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and they are known as the holy trinity. Whilst many have compared the trinity to water, ice and steam, I believe that without revelation, it is impossible to fully understand it and this is reflective of the complex nature of God. From Matthew 6:9, we know that we pray to God our Father the creator of all things (Isaiah 64:8) but we do this through the Son (1 Timothy 2:5) and in the Holy Spirit (Ephesian 6:18). Jesus related with God as a son would to a loving father. He recognised God as a father but also a head and He also calls us to do the same when we pray. Matthew 6:9 reminds us of the authority and identity of God.

First and foremost, he is our Father who is loving patient and kind but He is also the king of kings who resides in the highest places; the heavens and whose name is so great that it should be kept holy. God’s name is to be revered because it precedes him. He has had a track record of doing great things; from creation to salvation. He is renowned for his faithfulness to his promises.

A similar imagery is given in Revelation 4, the heavenly beings are so consumed by God’s presence that they can’t help but sing “Holy Holy Holy” day and night. I believe that Jesus reminds us of this in Matthew 6:9 so that it increases our faith when we pray. We know that we are not just throwing requests at an ancient deity who is unpredictable or unstable but we are communicating to an all-powerful father who cares for us. When all is failing in our world, whether it be a pandemic, war and violence or social injustice we can be rest assured our prayers will be answered. Our cry for mercy will reach our Holy Father and His justice will prevail.

By Claud Jaiyeola

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