How to Pray


Adoration: Hallowed be Your Name

There’s a beautiful symmetry in the opening lines of the Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name.

Jesus simultaneously invites us into revolutionary intimacy with our Father and reverential awe of his holiness. Pete reminds us today that both of these aspects are important in our worship and prayer lives.

I said earlier that after twenty-five years in pastoral ministry I have come to the conclusion that many people struggle with prayer simply because they doubt that God likes them. But there are probably just as many of us who fail to fully grasp his holiness. We have a notion of divine love devoid of divine sovereignty. Unwittingly we have unhallowed the Father’s name. And in losing the Godness of God we struggle with prayer because we fail to grasp the mind-blowing privilege of simply being in the presence of the living God. Familiarity breeds apathy until we can barely be bothered to try. 

Having reflected on both the intimacy and otherness of God as we approach him, Pete offers six suggestions as we seek to grow in our worship or ‘hallowing’ of God.

1. Awaking my soul – this is an act of the will. Instead of waiting until we feel like it, we begin to thank God for the evidence of his goodness in our lives.

2. Praying a Psalm – this rich Biblical resource can help realign our priorities and perspectives and shape our worship as we pray alongside others who have prayed the Psalms over the centuries.

3. Worshipping with Bach, Beyoncé and Bethel – music is a God-given gift that can stir our souls more powerfully than any other external stimulus.

4. Worshipping with others – the entire Lord’s Prayer is written in plural. We are not designed to hallow the Lord’s name entirely on our own, active participation in a local worshipping community is crucial.

5. Liturgy: the shape and the shaping of our prayers – when your soul is spent, and you’ve run out of imagination, it’s a relief to pray set prayers written by someone you trust.

6. Worshipping with your own weirdness – the Psalmist exhorts us to ‘sing to the LORD a new song.’ It’s important in our worship to be spontaneous, creative and ourselves, offering something unique to the Lord.

Heavenly father, hallowed be your name. I worship you today in the words of Francis of Assisi: My God and my all.