Jani Ortlund: Welcome everyone. We’re glad you’re here with us. We’ve been talking about Going Deeper with God and particularly how prayer helps us go deeper with God.
Jani: In our last podcast, we talked about the most famous prayer ever, The Lord’s Prayer, and Heidi and I thought we would get farther than we got to the first phrase, didn’t we?
Heidi Howerton: “Our Father who art in heaven.”
Jani: That was really something, but we do hope that that was encouraging to you all, and as you’ve been praying that the name “Father” would deepen your relationship with him and that he would restore your soul through being your heavenly Father. Now we’re going to try to get through the rest of this very famous prayer, The Lord’s Prayer. Let’s see how it goes, Heidi.
Heidi: Okay, that sounds great.
The Lord’s Prayer [Part One] continued: “Talking to God about God” 00:25
Jani: But be prepared for a little bit longer podcast today. So if you need to divide it into two parts, we understand.
“Hallowed be your name” 1:16
Jani: The second phrase in this most famous prayer ever is this “Hallowed be your name.” What Jesus is teaching us all to pray is help me, Father, help me to sanctify your name, to treat your name as holy, to hold your name in reverence, in awe, to honor your name as sacred, as separate and above every other name in the whole universe.
Jani: Shakespeare wrote, “A rose by any other name, smells just as sweet. What’s in a name?” Well, for God, everything is in his name. Think of what Deuteronomy 28 says,
“Fear this glorious and awesome name.”Deuteronomy 28:58
Jani: We’re to honor his name.
Heidi: I also, Jani, think of the verse in Psalm 34:3,
“Oh, magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together.”Psalm 34:3
Heidi: We’re to praise, we’re to hold his name in high esteem. I also love the verse in Ezekiel 36:21:
“But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came.”Ezekiel 36:21
His Name reveals his person
Jani: Why is God’s name so precious? Why does Jesus instruct us as his disciples to pray that God’s name would be hallowed in our lives and in our world? Well, it’s because God’s name is more than a label. My legal name is Jan, but I’ve been called Jani by my husband, my mom, others for so many years that it’s my name now. But if I was Susan or Petunia, or I would still be me. But God’s name is more than a label. His name reveals his person, his character, his reputation. His name is his self revelation, what he wants us to know about himself.
Jani: I see this in Proverbs 18:10. That verse says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower.” Hmm, that’s interesting.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous man runs into it and is safe.”Proverbs 18:10
Jani: We would never run into a name for safety, but God invites us to run into his name for safety.
His Name signifies his reputation
Jani: His name also signifies his esteemed reputation. Think of Psalm 23. I mean, that’s where the title and theme for our podcast comes from Psalm 23 where it says he restores my soul. In that same verse, Psalm 23:3 it says,
“He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”Psalm 23:#
Jani: Oh, it’s his reputation. He’s promised to do this. Or Psalm 79.
“Help us, O God, for your name’s sake, why should the nation say, ‘Where is their God?'”Psalm 79:9-10
His Name is his active presence
Heidi: Jani, one of the things I love that you’ve taught me about God’s name is that it’s his active presence. To bless someone is to put God’s name on them. Jani, think of Aaron’s blessing in Numbers 6:24 -26 which is often used at baptisms or as a benediction.
Heidi: “Then shall you bless the people, saying, ‘The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
Heidi: Jani, have you ever noticed the next verse in verse 27 then it says,
“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel and I will bless them.”Numbers 6:27
Heidi: I would never put my name on someone else: “So they shall put Heidi Howerton’s name on someone.” And yet God tells them to put his name on them. To bless someone is to put God’s name upon them. Where God’s name is, there is blessing because where his name is, he is being revealed. I love Exodus 20:24,
“In every place where I cause my name to be remembered. I will come to you and I will bless you.”Exodus 20:24
Jani: God’s name is his active presence. When we call upon his name, his presence comes in is with us. I love that Heidi. Oh yes. Thank you. “In every place where I cause my name to be remembered, I will come.” Hmm. That’s wonderful. Thank you, Heidi.
Dishonoring God’s Name
Jani: Whoa. Well, let’s think for a minute about the opposite of hallowing God’s name. I think it means to dishonor it. Think of the third commandment. We’re going to talk about the 10 Commandments in the future sometime, and we’ll talk about the third commandment about not taking the Lord’s name in vain. We’ll talk about that more deeply. But for now, let’s just think about in terms of hallowing God’s name, and the opposite of that is dishonoring.
Jani: I think of two ways we can dishonor his name. One, in our present day culture, is just becoming desensitized to it. So often we hear people say, oh my, and then they use his name. It could be on TV or movies, it could be in our work place.
Jani: When I taught in public schools, I heard that often among my teaching friends. It can be in everyday conversations or, you know, maybe I stub my toe, or I win a prize and I need a verbal exclamation mark, so to speak. I don’t know what else to say. So I say, “Oh my…” and I desecrate, I dishonor that holy name. Let’s not do that. Let’s not be women who misuse and dishonor his name.
Jani: Now maybe dear listener, as you’re hearing this, you think, well, Jani and Heidi, I don’t do that. Uh, you know, I, I try very hard not to speak his name out. But there’s another way that we can desecrate someone’s name different than just using words. How can I shame his name? I think I can by calling myself a Christian and then not living like it.
Jani: I don’t know about you with your kids, Heidi. But when our kids were little, we would remind them at times, “You’re an Ortlund, and people know that Ortlunds love the Lord Jesus Christ and serve him. You bear our name, so act like it.” It’s the same thing with our heavenly Father. Jesus died to put his name upon us. I have the name of the God of the universe upon me. He sacrificed his own Son to claim me as his own and give me his name. So I want to be a woman who hallows his name in my life who honors and esteems his name by living like I’m really his! When I pray, hallowed be thy name, what I’m saying is, “Your name is holy, Father. Now let me live like it. Let me honor your name in my life, my thoughts, my actions, my words, my prayers. Let me live a life of holy and happy reverence because I’m a Christian and I bear your name.”
“Thy Kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” 9:12
Jani: Let’s move on to this third phrase: “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is the third way we’re talking to God about God.
Jani: God enlarged his kingdom at the first advent when Jesus came, but Christ’s second coming will consummate his kingdom. When Christ returns—oh, I can’t wait!—God’s kingdom will be perfect, complete. All of God’s purposes will be fulfilled. When we have the first fruits only of longing for that second coming of Christ, we eagerly anticipate it, don’t we? It’s like in springtime when the buds start slowly peeping through, we can’t wait for the flowers, the daffodils…
Heidi: That’s a great comparison. We can’t wait for spring and summer to come.
Jani: Yes. Well, Jesus is teaching us that he has given us the bud of his kingdom and keep looking for, longing for, praying for the flower to bloom.
Jani: Why should we ask God to bring his kingdom to Earth? Why should we ask for his gospel to triumph in every walk of life? Well, because I think, Heidi, when I’m eagerly anticipating God’s kingdom reigning here on earth, it’s okay if everything doesn’t work according to my plans now. Someday they will. Someday the Lord’s perfect kingdom is going to be consummated and Jesus invites us to ask God to do it soon.
Jani: When I pray, “Your kingdom come, Father, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” I’m asking God to actualize his will here on earth. It’s as if I’m praying “Father, reign in my heart, reign in my home, have your will done in my workplace, my church, my neighborhood, my country, reign in my thoughts and words and actions. Be king to me. I defer to you. Not my will, but yours be done. I bow to you. I’m asking for a little bit of Heaven on Earth, for your gospel to triumph in all walks of life.”
The Lord’s Prayer [Part Two]: “Talking to God about Myself and Others” 11:46
Jani: So we’ve been talking about talking to God about God. The next part of this prayer that Jesus taught us to pray talks to God about myself and others and it starts with our physical needs.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” 12:04
Heidi: Jani, I love that first part of the prayer that says, “Give us this day our daily bread.” I love that the first part when we’re talking to God about our needs is “Give, give us, Lord…” that that’s the first thing that comes.
Jani: I love that, too, that Jesus told us that that can be the first word out of our mouth: “Give, give us…” Oh, we have such a generous and kind Father. Daily dependence, when he says, “Give us this day our daily bread…” is really important. It keeps us close to God, doesn’t it?
Heidi: Yes. I’ve been studying God’s self-sufficiency lately and I love that daily dependence, that God created us to depend on him. Sometimes we view our needs as a bad thing. We think that they’re caused by sin, but even before the fall, Jani, God created us with needs. When God created Adam and Eve, they needed God for their life and breath and food even before the fall and sin entered the world. Our needs are a beautiful thing because they keep us close to him.
Jani: Oh, that’s so good, Heidi. Yes, a daily dependence on God is a good thing. I like that. Even before the fall, Jesus, as you say, Heidi, invites us to ask. I wonder, dear listener, if you’ve ever been unsure of your daily needs being provided. I have at a certain point in my life, and it’s kind of scary, but Jesus welcomes that prayer. “Father, give me what I need today” because it shows that I understand how God works when you pray this prayer, what you are saying is, “My food might be coming through my husband’s paycheck or my own, but ultimately I cannot live one day without your provision, Lord. You keep the world in order so that food can be produced and money can be earned and bodies can digest it.”
Heidi: He’s the God of infinite provision (how Jen Wilkin talks about him). I love that.
Jani: Yes, yes, and I think the needier we feel the more we pray. We never graduate beyond need, so let’s feel free to ask our Father, “Give us, give me today what I need for today.” Our physical needs—God asks us to pray about them.
Jani: And then he also teaches us to pray about our spiritual needs. He goes from give us this day our daily bread into “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” 14:48
Jani: Wow. This shows a deep spiritual need, doesn’t it? This is a believer’s prayer. These were the disciples who came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” He is telling the disciples to ask for forgiveness. We never graduate beyond spiritual need. We never get to a point of not needing to ask for forgiveness. It’s a prayer for restoration of personal fellowship with God when that fellowship has been hindered by sin. Confession, repentance, an open heart that says, “Oh, Father, I want unhindered fellowship with you.” Those who have tasted real forgiveness in their own lives, who understand the depth of their own need, they are the ones who can best forgive others.
Jani: Jesus is showing us in this prayer that our own sense of relief and joy at being forgiven ought to translate into a gracious humility toward others. We can’t be prickly anymore. We have no right to take offense easily. There’s no reason to justify our grudge against someone who was injured or offended us. This prayer is saying,
Jani: “Lord, you let this happen. It must be all right with you. Therefore, I ask you to make it okay with me. I want to be more flexible. I, I want to be more tough skinned and tender hearted. I know that’s important to you, Father. So help me.”
Jani: Right after The Lord’s Prayer, Heidi, do you remember those verses in Matthew 6:14 and 15?
Jani: Could you read those?
“If you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”Matthew 6:14-15
Jani: Wow. Oh my goodness. I think Jesus is teaching us there that if I’m harboring unforgiveness towards someone, it’s as if I’m saying to God, “Oh Lord, I deserve and will take all the benefits of you forgiving me, but I cannot forgive them.”
Jani: Now let me say, dear listener, forgiveness is not a feeling alone. It’s an action. So even if you’re struggling with feelings toward that person who deeply wronged you, you can stop talking about it. You can stop mulling over it in your mind. You can offer that hurt to God as a sweet sacrifice and ask him to help you forgive that person. You can absorb it for Jesus’ sake. Think of him hanging there on the cross, open armed, his arms just spread wide open, absorbing all of our sins in his own body. That’s what he’s asking us to do.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” 18:05
Jani: And then he goes on into this third request. “Lead us not into temptation.” We’re to ask God not to lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil temptations.
Jani: Wow, that’s an interesting word. God’s kingdom has not yet been fulfilled, and as we’re waiting for that, our lives are going to be filled with real sorrows, real struggles, and pain this side of heaven, and we will be tempted to sin. We’re tempted not to hallow his name in our hearts and to look for relief and delight elsewhere. We’re tempted to doubt God. We’re tempted, at least I am, to doubt his wisdom and goodness. I’m tempted to be overcome sometimes with my own fears and anguish and worries and fatigue, and I need to ask God to help us here. Maybe you do too, Heidi.
Jani: Sometimes, I hate to admit this, but it’s true in my life. I wonder, dear listener, if it’s ever true in yours…I’m tempted to think bad thoughts about God. Oh, I’m so sorry. Sometimes it goes like this: “Well, if God is love and he supposed to love me, this doesn’t feel very loving. If I were him and then…” I fill in the blank. Oh, I’m so sorry to admit that. Jesus calls that, in Matthew 11, being offended by God, being offended by Jesus. Being offended by Christ means that I’m upset because he doesn’t match my expectations of what he should be doing. Well, Jesus tells us to pray against that and “Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil.”
Jani: Jesus calls us to pray for protection. Now, not necessarily for personal and physical safety, although I do pray for that, but for Jesus to rescue me, to deliver me from evil, to liberate me from the temptation to trivialize or even forget about God. That’s evil. I like how John Piper puts it in his book, Let the Nations be Glad:
“We will not know what prayer is for until we learned that prayer is war. Prayer is not an intercom asking Dad to bring more chips and cokes as he walks by the TV room. It’s a walkie talkie asking him to send fresh troops to your battle-wearied station.”John Piper
Jani: The Bible teaches us that we’re all involved in a great spiritual battle in which various temptations will entice us. Many will attract us and put us to the test. I wonder, dear listener, have you been tempted? Maybe you’re in a spiritual battle right now.
Heidi: Heidi, have you ever faced spiritual temptation in your own life or is there something you’re facing right now?
Heidi: I mean, all the time. I feel like my battle with sin and evil is every day and the first one that comes to mind is so often I’m tempted to be short-tempered with my kids, which is so sad to say and I hate to admit them out on podcast knowing that they’ll listen to a one day, but it’s nothing new to them. I often notice that come out when I’m in a rush and we’re trying to get out the door and we’re late and I just want to be short-tempered and say, “Get your shoes on. Why are you not obeying?” Oh, it’s so sad that I can, such harsh words can come out of my mouth. It breaks my heart. Yeah. And just taking that to the Lord and asking him and, and then going to the kids and repenting and saying, “Mommy is so sorry that Mommy got short-tempered. Will you please forgive me?” But it’s hard. I would rather wish that my life were soaked with the Lord. And in those moments of temptation, I would take a deep breath and say, nothing is worth me losing my temper with the kids. I would rather be late to an event than to not shepherd these children in the sweet way that I want to, in the sweet way. The way that my Father shepherds me. What about you?
Jani: Oh, that’s so good, Heidi. Wow. Well for me, my biggest temptation toward evil is this podcast. I hate to admit it to our listeners out there, Heidi, but this is scary for me. When I was asked to do this, I, at first, thought, “No, I can’t.” I don’t have the wisdom, energy, time, but the Lord seemed to say, “I want you to.” I was tempted toward evil in that and the Lord helped me. He protected me against that evil.
Jani: I wonder about our listeners, Heidi. I wonder where they may be tempted. They might be tempted with loneliness or financial distress or a very hard relationship, whether it be with a spouse or a parent or a child. Maybe it’s a church crisis. Hm.
Jani: Let’s close today by saying this: our personal burdens can become kingdom advances if we put them before God and pray about them. Let’s pray about them and let him use our individual temptations to serve his kingdom purposes. Dear listener, your personal story is more significant than you think. Your life in Christ, my life in Christ, Heidi’s life in Christ—they are all part of his kingdom expansion program. Part of his will being done on earth as it is in heaven.
Prayer is a relationship 23:59
Jani: Now, some of you, when you say the Lord’s Prayer, when you come to the end of it, you’ll see that phrase, “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Some manuscripts do add that. We’re not going to take time to discuss that on our podcast today cause we’ve already talked long enough. So let’s wrap it up this way by reminding each other that prayer is never a regimen. It’s a relationship with the God of the universe. It’s drawing near to a person. It’s calling on him, spending time together, visiting.
Jani: We want to invite you to pray this prayer, The Lord’s Prayer, the most famous prayer ever, every day in this coming week. Would you join us in that? Heidi and I are going to. Think about what it means and see how God will answer it. May he restore your soul as you come to him.
A Prayer for us all 24:59
Jani: Heidi, I’d love to pray this prayer over our listeners and for for us as well. How about if we do it this way? How about if you pray the first part about talking to God about God and I’ll pray about talking to God about our needs.
Heidi: I’d love to, Jani.
Lord, thank you for being our Abba and our Daddy. Jesus, thank you for being the scepter that’s reached out to us that we can call God our Father and our Daddy, that we can come to him in relationship that way. And we’re so thankful, Jesus. Thank you that you make that possible. Thank you, God, for being our dad.
…who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
God, your name is glorious and mysterious to us. Your name is marvelous and magnificent. Lord, I pray that your name would be upon us. I pray that your presence would be with us, God, and I pray that we would be people that honor your name. Forgive us for any time that we have not honored your name, Lord.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
God, you have an amazing kingdom and I just pray that your kingdom would come be on this earth. I pray that you would reign in our hearts, that you would reign in our homes, that you would reign in our workplace. Establish your kingdom here with us.
Give us today our daily bread.
Oh, and Father Heidi and I want to pray for each other and for each listener today that you would meet our physical needs and our spiritual needs. Oh Lord, thank you that you invite us to pray “Give.” Lord, we lift up our hearts to you and ask you would “give us today our daily bread.” We come to you today realizing that every day we need provision from you. We pray over our spiritual needs. Oh, help us to forgive others.
Forgive us our debts as we forgive others
Do we dare even pray, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive others in the same way”? O Lord, teach us what it means to forgive. We’re so sorry we’re so puny with our forgiveness. Oh, we stink at it, Lord, and we need your help. Please, help us. I pray for that listener who’s struggling with forgiveness for a deep and dark hurt against her. Help her, come to her, forgive her debts even as she forgives that debt against her.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Lord, I pray for us that you would help us with the very present temptations that we face, that you would keep us from evil. Do not let evil win, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ, give us the victory. Then you will get the glory and we’ll get the joy and we will be so happy. So we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.”