“Hallowed be your name . . .” (Matt. 6:9b). In the little moments of daily life, I must live for a greater honor and glory than my own.
I remember the lecture well. It came with force and clarity at the end of my junior year of high school. My dad called me into the room and said, “Sit down; I want to talk to you for a moment.” I thought, “I wonder what I’ve done?” I hadn’t done anything wrong. My dad was just preparing me for the next phase of my life. He told me that my job was to get up every day and look for a job until I had found one. Then he said: “Remember, as you’re out there, you carry the name of this family with you. What you do that is good will reflect on this family, and the bad things that you do will reflect on this family as well.” It was a crushing burden for me. I thought, “I’m only sixteen years old, and I have to carry the burden of the reputation of this family on my shoulders?”
In case you wonder, this is not what the second statement in our Lord’s model prayer is about. It is not about you and me carrying on our shoulders the crushing burden of the reputation of God. No fallen human being on his most brilliantly godly day could successfully carry such a burden. No, this statement frames everything that prayer is about, and in so doing it reveals how precious the grace of Jesus is. Prayer is about something vastly bigger and more beautiful than laying before God your personal wish list for the day, because your life is meant to be about something bigger than that as well. Prayer is, in itself, a recognition that something exists in the world that is greater and more glorious than you. Prayer is meant to remind you that your little world, filled with your little plans, is not ultimate. Prayer teaches you that there is a greater glory than any glory that you could ever want for yourself. Prayer is meant to help you remember that the deepest, most important motivation for every person who has ever taken a breath is the awe of God.
This deep and abiding recognition of the grandeur and glory of God is meant to shape and direct everything in my life. Everything that I do and every request that I make of God is to be done in recognition that everything that exists, including me, was made for his glory. This reality rips a hole in my heart and exposes what is there. I don’t really want to live for a greater glory. What I really want is for the people, places, and things in my life to serve the glory of my comfort and satisfaction. Submitting my life to the holy name of God reminds me that I need to pray for something else—grace. Without rescuing grace, I will continue to live as a glory thief, and so will you. Thankfully, that grace is ours in Jesus our Lord.
For further study and encouragement: Isaiah 48:1–11
Taken from New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul Tripp, © 2014, pp. 132-162. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.