Jesus told his listeners to pray, “Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done…” Often we just repeat his words in our prayers without thinking about their meaning.
Remember, Jesus said, “Pray like this,” not “Pray exactly these words.” So how do you pray your version of “hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done…?” The answer to that question becomes obvious when we understand how we know if God’s name has been hallowed as it should be, his kingdom has come, and his will has been done.
In the Bible, God tells us how to treat him, advance his kingdom purposes, and do his will. The Bible tells us what kingdom advancement looks like in our hearts, relationships, finances, time management, and all the rest. But knowing the Bible isn’t enough. We need God’s help to do God’s will. We show that we understand this when we move from simply reading God’s Word to praying God’s Word. And with over 23,100 verses in the Bible, we have plenty of material to pray.
What’s this look like practically? First, read it. As simple as this sounds, this is a radical step. When we read the Word of God, we hear from God. The apostle Paul says that “all Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible, rightly understood, tells us what God’s will is, how his kingdom is advanced, and how to hallow his name. God tells us to meditate, to think about his Word (Psalm 1:2). Some questions to help you think about a passage can be: What does it say? What jumped out to you the most? What’s your favorite part? What did the author mean? How does it apply? How does it connect to Christ?
Then, pray it. We need God’s help to do God’s will. Once you understand what you read, pray what you understand. Ask God to cause you to follow his Word in the specific situations you anticipate for that day. Ask God to help others to do the same.Instead of reading a passage like Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves,” and then just going and doing your best, understand that there’s more. Ask God for help to “count others more significant than yourself.”
Instead of “others,” put specific names in that place and pray it. Ask God to show you areas where you might be driven by “selfish ambition” or “conceit.” As you think about what you need to do that day, ask him to help you walk in humility in those activities.
This is just one of many ways where, if you give a Bible passage a little thought and prayer, you will learn how to get specific in your Bible reading. When you do this, you are praying a version of “hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done.” You’ll find yourself more engaged in your Bible reading, confessing sin more often in that moment, enabling the lifegiving words of God to get into parts of your heart that are in desperate need of it.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,2 Timothy 3:16
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.Psalm 1:2
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,Philippians 2:3