Contemplating The Lord’s Prayer (Part II)

Our Father who art in heaven

“Our Father who art in heaven” is an invitation from God to turn our focus from our earthly exile to heaven, our intended home, for we were created to live and dwell with Him in His house.  But, through the sin of our first parent’s, Adam and Eve, we live in exile, dwelling apart from Our Father.  By invoking “heaven” we are not limiting God’s presence to a place.   Instead, we are seeking a relationship with Him and requesting release from our exile to be in His presence forever.  In so praying, we respond to His freely bestowed grace and mercy, and express our desire to be in communion with Him as “his adopted sons and daughters,” created in His image and likeness.

Hallowed be thy name

“Hallowed be thy name”, is a proclamation that God’s name is set apart from all other names.  His name is to be glorified and consecrated.  Further, His name is a reminder that we, as His adopted sons and daughters, are called to holiness in union with Him.  We are to praise and glorify Our Father’s name, first in the words we pray with our lips and second by the actions we undertake with our heart.  However, the prayer of our lips will ring hollow, if the actions of our heart fail to hallow His name.

Thy kingdom come

“Thy kingdom come” is an acclamation of God’s glory and a cry to live forever in His glorified presence.  His kingdom is proclaimed throughout the Gospels and has been becoming since the Last Supper and Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Asking for His kingdom to come is a prayerful request to persevere in this present age with faith, hope and charity in a life lived in, through, and for Christ Jesus until He returns in glory in the age to come.

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

“Thy will be done” is an acknowledgement of the Father’s merciful loving relationship with His sons and daughters, for He desires all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of His truth.  God send his only begotten Son, Jesus, to show humanity the way to what is pleasing to Him and how to conduct our lives according to His will.  Jesus taught what His Father wills in the Beatitudes and the two great commandments, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind … [and] … your neighbor as yourself.”  When we pray “Thy will be done” we are asking that the Father continues to extend his grace and mercy to us, so that our hearts not be hardened, and that our will be aligned with Our Father’s so that His will be done “on earth as it is in heaven”.

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