Murray's fourth lesson in the book With Christ in the School of Prayer is discussing "The Model Prayer" given by Jesus in Matthew 6. (By the way, before this one he's discussed Jesus (Luke 11:1) as "The Only Teacher" for prayer , those who worship in Spirit and Truth (John 4:23-24) as "The True Worshippers" and the only people of prayer and being "Alone with God" (Matthew 6:6) as the beginning place - the school - of prayer. Great stuff, and all worth a place in your devotional thinking.
So here's the question for today: When we pray, what is primarily on our mind? The answer to that question reveals a lot about our heart. Are you willing to learn from Jesus about what is important in prayer? The truth here is not new, but if you've ever attended a public prayer meeting, you'll likely realize how sadly lacking this truth is in application. How often our concerns are the first (and sadly, even often the only) things that are mentioned in prayer!
May that not be true with us. Our Heavenly Father is waiting for those who put His priorities first, and our churches need the example of a few who will learn to pray in accordance with the Father's priorities... will you be one who prays this way?
"‘Hallowed be Thy name.’ There is something here that strikes us at once. While we ordinarily first bring our own needs to God in prayer, and then think of what belongs to God and His interests, the Master reverses the order.
First, Thy name, Thy kingdom, Thy will; then, give us, forgive us, lead us, deliver us. The lesson is of more importance than we think. In true worship the Father must be first, must be all. The sooner I learn to forget myself in the desire that HE may be glorified, the richer will the blessing be that prayer will bring to myself. No one ever loses by what he sacrifices for the Father. This must influence all our prayer. There are two sorts of prayer: personal and intercessory. The latter ordinarily occupies the lesser part of our time and energy. This may not be.
O let us live for this, and let, on each act of adoration, Our Father! there follow in the same breath Thy Name, Thy Kingdom, Thy Will;—for this we look up and long."
- Christ has opened the school of prayer specially to train intercessors for the great work of bringing down, by their faith and prayer, the blessings of His work and love on the world around. There can be no deep growth in prayer unless this be made our aim.
- The little child may ask of the father only what it needs for itself; and yet it soon learns to say, Give some for sister too. But the grown-up son, who only lives for the father’s interest and takes charge of the father’s business, asks more largely, and gets all that is asked.
- And Jesus would train us to the blessed life of consecration and service, in which our interests are all subordinate to the Name, and the Kingdom, and the Will of the Father.
‘Hallowed be Thy name.’ What name? This new name of Father. The word Holy is the central word of the Old Testament; the name Father of the New. In this name of Love all the holiness and glory of God are now to be revealed. And how is the name to be hallowed? By God Himself:‘I will hallow My great name which ye have profaned.’Our prayer must be that in ourselves, in all God’s children, in presence of the world, God Himself would reveal the holiness, the Divine power, the hidden glory of the name of Father. The Spirit of the Father is the Holy Spirit: it is only when we yield ourselves to be led of Him, that the name will be hallowed in our prayers and our lives. Let us learn the prayer: ‘Our Father, hallowed be Thy name.’"