In the past I have used my normal busyness as a great excuse to pray throughout the day while multitasking, not taking time or disciplining myself to a specific schedule of prayer. This plan worked for many years, but I have found God calling me to a more strategic time of prayer. When I set a specific time it is usually in the early morning when things are quiet, or I pray at night with my wife Becky. Even though the advantages of the intimacy found in prayer with Him bring enlightenment, peace and joy, I still seem to need to schedule time with Him or the cares of the day burst forth becoming the priority.
Obviously Jesus would be an excellent role model to follow when it comes to prayer. During each moment of His life, He seemed to always have an ear toward heaven being keenly aware of what His Father was speaking or showing Him. The disciples recognized His skill in prayer and when they asked Him how to pray He responded and taught them with the model found in Matthew 6:9-13 better known as The Lord's Prayer. So it would seem appropriate to not only recite The Lord's Prayer, but also to search what was the significance of this prayer and how it affects our heart and relationship with Him today.
The Lord's Prayer appears to be a modified version of the 18 Benedictions or blessings the Jews were to recite three times a day. The Rabbis became aware that praying these 18 Benedictions or Amidah as it was called became an interruption to their daily activities and work schedules. Consequently abbreviated prayers became acceptable as demonstrated by Jesus.
The prayer begins with "Our Father who art in heaven," implying we are all His children. Therefore, we are acknowledging we have chosen to serve Him out of our love for Him, choosing to keep His commandments and walk in His ways.
"Hallowed be Your name" may be better understood as, "May Your name be sanctified." Sanctify also means to make clean, holy, purify, or separated unto Him. Because we are in covenant with Him, whenever we obey His commandments we are sanctifying His name. As a result of our prayers and obedience we have a part in this relationship to sanctify His name. How wonderful it is to be able to participate with Him!
My motivation for intimacy and prayer is not to just pray as I get a chance throughout the day now, but to set an appointed time aside daily to be with Him. Next time, I will continue to discuss my thoughts on the rest of The Lord's Prayer.
Until then, may you and your family be blessed with His love, joy and peace in this Christmas season.