December 22, 2021 — It’s more than just a Prayer

“Words are easy,” Stan commented one morning. “Living them is as whole lot harder.”

“I can agree with that,” I responded, “but why did you say that?”

“Earlier this morning, I was again focusing on Matthew’s gospel,” Stan said, “where Jesus taught the disciples how to pray.”

“Oh,” I said, “you mean the Lord’s Prayer?”

“Some people call it that, some call it the ‘Disciples’ Prayer’ or ‘The Our Father’,” he replied. “Doesn’t matter what you call it; it’s the meaning behind the words that’s important.”

“For example,” he continued, “the part at the beginning, where it says, ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name’.”

“What about it?” I asked.

“Just think,” he replied, “how easy it is to say, ‘Hallowed or holy be Thy name,’ but how difficult it is to live a life where God’s name is truly treated as holy.”

“I’m not sure if I know what that means,” I admitted.

“In sum,” Stan said, “I think God’s name represents His character as holy. To miscast God’s name, as well as God Himself, as less than holy is clearly not what He intends.”

“Doesn’t one of the Ten Commandments have something to say about that?” I asked.

“Yes,” Stan replied, “the third commandment says not to take the name of God in vain, and, it seems to me, that includes a whole lot more than what I say. I can certainly take His name in vain by what I say, but there are also uncountable ways in which I can take His name in vain by the way I live my life.”

“Give me some examples,” I said.

“By not treating Him as holy, by disrespecting Him with the choices I make in living the life He has given me to live, by not reflecting His holy character by what I manifest,” Stan responded. “The list goes on and on!”

“So,” I replied, “I see why you said that saying the words is the easy part. Living them is a whole lot more difficult!”

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Bible verses to consider:

Pray, then, in this way: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name.” Matthew 6:9.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. Exodus 20:7.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you are holy and that you want me to manifest your holiness in this life you have given to live. I confess that too often I fall short of manifesting the holiness you intend. Please forgive me, and please help me in following every step of your lead in not just saying that you are holy, but in living this life just as you intend to reflect your holiness. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the holy name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Do you agree that taking God’s name in vain is not limited to what you say about Him? Why or why not? What about where it says, “Be holy for I am holy.” How are you doing with that? What does it mean to you to “be holy”? Can you do that on your own? Is there a connection between this and having the Holy Spirit truly living in you so His holiness can be and is manifested in and through you?”

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