Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Praying and Dreaming

Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name." (Matt. 6:9)

It seems like an abstract thought. What does "hallowed be your name" mean exactly? As Jesus was telling us how to pray, he wanted us to have an accurate perception of God first. That's why he says to pray, "Our Father."

The idea of Father brings God closer than just merely being God. Like dependent children we're to approach God as we really are-absolutely helpless and in desperate need of him. "Hallowed be your name" means that we see God accurately. When Adam and Eve sinned, they suddenly viewed God as someone to run from rather than run to. God was terribly frightening. It's the same way with us.

God is holy, and that is scary because we aren't, and we can't survive the presence of God. Being holy doesn't make God immeasurably distant, however. Being holy means that God is perfect and completely undivided. God is the most happy being in the universe, finding complete satisfaction within himself because he is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. C.S. Lewis called the Trinity the divine dance, each member generating perfect love to all the others.

Praying to God as Father and realizing we're completely helpless before him is to be caught up in the dance. Our unholiness slowly dies away in the presence of God, and we find our greatest joy in him, even in the midst of chaos.

Mark Batterson says that prayer causes us to dream, and dreaming causes us to pray. To pray, "Father, hallowed be your name," is to see God for who he is and being drawn to him for who he is. It's admiring God as a child lovingly admires her daddy. It's being caught up in a bigger dream than the ones we can create on our own, and yet, because God cares for us a Father, he cares about our dreams.

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