Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. (NLT)
If we get God wrong, everything else goes wrong. Having a false idea of God may be worse than not having any idea of him at all. The opening phrase of the Lord’s Prayer gives us some clues as to getting God right.
God is not some abstract concept, some distant deity who made the world and now sits back in splendid isolation from it. He is our Father. He is personal, he enters into relationships with his creation. “Father” is God’s Christian name.
Then again, he is not simply our best mate, one of us only just a bit better. He is in heaven, which means that while he is connected to us, he is also distinct from us. He inhabits the perfect reality of heavenly life while being involved in our own imperfect lives.
This is one reason why we pray his name be hallowed or kept holy. We need to understand that “name” in the Bible means “character”. Much as we might say that a person we know has a good name. It is a reference to character not to an entry on a birth certificate. And so we pray that God’s character be honoured or regarded as special…which is what “holy” means. We pray that we get God right.
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And the main way he honour God’s character is to reflect something of it in our lives. We are not only to get God right in our thinking, but also in our behaving. Right belief is meant to be followed by right behaviour.