Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Prayer – In one billion, three hundred forty nine million, six hundred seventy eight thousand, four hundred and eighty-twelve lessons.

Lesson 2

My second grade Sunday School teacher taught us the Lord’s prayer. When she got to the part about “Hallowed be thy name," I thought it had something to do with Halloween. I imagined Jesus carved into a pumpkin. I had seen a cartoon of Ichabod Crane and I had visions of the headless horseman thundering in the dark, holding a pumpkin with Jesus’ face carved into it. He threw it at Ichabod and it hit him in the head. The result was that Ichabod got saved and knocked into the river… which I took as his baptism.

You may be surprised to learn that “hallowed” was not a word I used a lot when I was 7. You may also be surprised to find out that it’s still not a word I use often. I use the word aardvark more often.

Anyway, my Sunday School teacher said that “hallowed be thy name” was adoration. But if you listen carefully it sounds more like a hope. “Please grant my desire that your name be revered.” If adoration was intended, Jesus would not have said it the same way he said "thy kingdom come," in which He was asking for something.

It’s a request. “Please grant my desire that your name be revered.”

If I told my wife, “you are beautiful to me.” That would be adoration. If I said, “I request that you be beautiful to me,” it would be a well earned instant ticket to sleeping on the couch, but not adoration.

Similarly, “forgive us our trespasses," is not confession, it’s a request.

Rule of thumb: If you can put a "please" in the front, or the end of the sentence, it’s not adoration, confession, or thanksgiving, it’s a request.

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