I thought I was going to be teaching on the power of prayer when I was first given the topic. As a matter of fact I was reading Mark 9 when He gave the topic to me. But what He has shown me is that in order for our prayers to be powerful and dynamic, we need to know who we’re praying to. And how to approach Him. We’re not the potter we’re the clay. We’re not in charge we’re servants. There’s order in prayer. There’s protocol for prayer.
This is the God who says no one can see Him and live. That’s how awesome His glory and splendor is! Jesus called the Spirit Holy. Demons had greater respect for Jesus than people. Than His image bearers. We have your nature and character yet we have such disrespect for Your holiness. He’s not our plaything. He’s good but He’s Holy, He’s loving but He’s Holy, He’s kind but He’s Holy, He’s compassionate but He’s Holy, He’s our friend but He’s Holy! He’s God! He’s our Savior but He’s Holy Lord! Yes He’s my Abba but He’s Holy. Nothing I’ve said speaks of commonness. Queen Elizabeth’s children and grandchildren follow protocol in addressing her. How much more should we give honor to the King of kings and Lord of lords? They were taught from childhood to respect grandma’s office, we haven’t been taught so we come up with our own way of addressing The One who’s above all. Well all of us here today will be without excuses. He’s coming back for people who respects protocol. People who knows who He is.
The Godhead who spoke into existence what we know as creation, the all powerful preexistent One is not our homeboy, He’s not our homie He’s Jah! He’s before time. We need to go back to Christianity 101. The basic fundamentals of our faith is to fear and reverence God. Let’s look at Isaiah 6
“It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.””
Isaiah 6:1-5 NLT
We dishonor Him in so many ways. It’s not just how we approach Him, it’s what we think about Him, say about Him and believe about Him that’s sometimes irreverent and dishonoring.
How we pray is just as important as why we pray. God is not impressed by our words He’s mostly impressed if He’s impressed at all, by the attitude of our hearts towards Him. Firstly let me reiterate this fact. God is holy. If you’re in the habit of addressing Him as though you’re pals I need you to stop it. Jesus taught us how to pray and nowhere in His instructions does He allow for irreverence. God isn’t the man upstairs and we do not approach Him with hey there, He’s to be stood in awe and reverence of. He’s to be worshipped and honored. Jesus in teaching the disciples how to pray said His Name is hallowed. What does hallowed mean? It simply means holy. Holy means sacred and set apart or above everyone else. So we don’t get to dishonor Him by lowering Him to our standards.
There are different translations to that prayer which I’ll share.
The original KJV, ESV; says hallowed be Thy Name.
The NLT reads:
“Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may Your Name be kept holy.”
Matthew 6:9 NLT
The TPT reads: “Pray like this: ‘Our Beloved Father, dwelling in the heavenly realms, may the glory of Your Name be the center on which our lives turn.”
Matthew 6:9 TPT
The AMPC reads; “Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.”
Matthew 6:9 AMPC
““This is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, let Your Name be kept holy.”
Matthew 6:9 GW
Are you getting the picture? So if you’re in the habit of disrespecting Him. Cut it out! If I didn’t dishonor my earthly parents who were sinful human beings, why would I think it’s alright to dishonor almighty God? Stick to the example Jesus gave and honor His Father’s Name. Praying may be conversation with God, but there’s no room for lowering His majesty and greatness. I had great respect for my father, not once did I ever preface his name with hey. When we become too familiar we loose our respect and awe of Him. Now that I’ve addressed that I’ll move on.
Listen to how Jesus prayed to His Father for His disciples. John 17
“After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began. “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me. “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold. “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.””
John 17:1-26 NLT
Can you hear the love and reverence Jesus has for His Father? Can you hear the depth of their relationship? The unity and closeness that is portrayed in the prayer? That’s how you pray to someone you know intimately. There’s a level of honor and respect demonstrated by Jesus who is God the Son that is lost on us. We don’t know Him like we should. So we bring Him down to our level instead of reaching up to His.
I have taught that you can speak with Jesus like you’d speak with a friend. We can do that because He is a friend, but what I mean by that isn’t that you can disrespect His divine deity, but that you can tell Him anything and everything as you would a close friend. But you wouldn’t address Him as hey JC! He’s the Son of God with a highly exalted Name. Familiarity breeds contempt. If we leave off reverencing Father Son Holy Spirit, they are no longer Holy to us but as common as Dick Tom and Harry. They’re not!
If Jesus spoke with and to His Father with such honor and awe who do we think we are in addressing Him any way we choose? Say with me, “God Is Holy “ say it again! Say it again! Now say Jesus is holy” say it again! Say it again! We may not even remember the Holy Spirit’s role in all of this, but He too is Holy. Say the Holy Spirit is holy, say it again! Say it again! Now think about what you’ve just said. In the book of revelation the elders and angels bow before the throne and the Lamb, who’s the Lamb? Jesus and they cry consistently day and night. Holy, Holy, Holy. Father Son Holy Spirit you are Holy. The three in One is forever Holy. Revelation 4:8 Heaven got it right and earth (we) must too.
“Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty— the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.””
Holiness is an attribute of the Spirit. And as spiritual beings we too are called to be holy and if we don’t possess holiness we won’t see God. Hebrews 12:14. Unholy people cannot recognize holiness. That’s why they address the Godhead like they’re talking to a buddy. They don’t know Them but Christians should set the example for how to address our Father because we know Him. If some of you are wondering why your prayers are getting hit or miss answers, check your reverence quotient. Your calculation is off. He’s not like you, we’re like Him. He doesn’t conform to us, we conform to Him through transformation by His Holy Spirit. He’s your best friend, but He’s not your best bud. I have great respect for my friends, I’m careful and thoughtful about how I treat and speak to them. God is above every relationship.
This wasn’t the way I thought this lesson was going to go, but I’m not in charge here. And The Godhead must want something corrected. At our weekly bible study i taught on our appetites and what it means to mature in Christ. To go from milk to meat, well, this is another area where we need to mature in. If you’re still addressing the Father as hey God or JC you’re carnal and immature, still drinking milk. Babies think their parents are toys until the come to understand boundaries. Then they think they’re mean. But as they mature they respect those boundaries. And so it is with God the Father. He has set a boundary called holiness. And we must never cross it. I have a pet peeve. If I call your name and you respond “what” it ticks me off. It implies annoyance and it’s rude. I have raised my daughter to always respond to being called with yes mommy or yes whoever it is. I had to correct that in my son and quite a few other people. If I’m like that about someone saying what in response to me, how does it make Holy God feel when we disrespect Him?
Another area of praying that shows that we respect God’s holiness is “trusting and believing “ if we don’t believe what His Word says, we’re calling Him a liar. And He has promised that we’ll never get anything from Him.
“But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
James 1:6-8 NLT
One of the great misconceptions we have is that God doesn’t care how you look as long as your heart is right. If that’s true, why did He take all that time to tell Moses how to make the priestly garments? He used that statement one time with Samuel to teach him that godly character was more impressive than outward qualities. We’ve taken it to the hundredth degree to mean that we can show up in His presence any way we want. I’ve seen people show up for church like they’re headed to the beach or the park, and maybe they are after service, but if we wouldn’t show up to work or an interview dressed like that, why would we do that to Him. We are called a royal priesthood, we’re called holy and set apart. But we haven’t been taught reverence and holiness in the presence of God. Jesus carried Himself in such a way that lots were cast for His outer garment. God cares as much about your outside as He does your inside. He doesn’t want us trading one for the other. We’re triune as He is. Spirit soul and body. The condition of our hearts is reflected on the outside. Samuel saw stature God wanted him to go deeper, to start from the inside out not the outside in. It’s the born again principle. We come as we are but we don’t remain as we were.
We learn reverence by spending time with the one we’re called to show reverence for. We discover His holiness through scriptures, and nothing in the Bible teaches us to dishonor God. From Genesis to Revelation we encounter His majesty, power and holiness. If you’ve missed it, you haven’t been reading the same Bible I’m reading. We’re called to bow down and worship Him. Where is there room for bowing and hey there? They don’t even go together. Demons trembling at His very presence and Name cry out in fear and reverence. We are His born from above children, don’t lose your awe and respect for Him.
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit
February 10, 2023