A grandmother told me about her young grandson’s prayer. “Gran, I learned a prayer at church.”
“You did? Why don’t you say it for me?”
“Okay.” Reverently, he began, “Our Father, who art in Heaven, how did you know my name?”
Another child said it this way – “Our Father which art in Heaven and Howard is his name.”
One day when Hannah, my granddaughter, had attended “big” church with her parents, she was playing with the little toys her mom had brought to keep her entertained. The pastor’s sermon was about Hannah from the bible. He said in a loud, preachy tone, “And Hannah cried out to the Lord.”
Our Hannah, who appeared to be totally engrossed with her playing instead of the sermon, responded indignantly, “Hannah not crying!”
Perhaps the prayer broke with the traditional one in Matthew 6:9 – Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name, but drove home the point that names are important. I feel so unimportant and marvel that my Father in Heaven DOES know my name. Not only does he know my name, but he even has numbered the hairs on my head. – But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:7. Wow! That’s a humbling concept.
On my recent trip to the Holy Land, our tour group visited the Convent of Pater Noster. According to history and tradition, it was built on the site where Jesus taught his disciples to pray. On the walls are written the Lord’s Prayer in mosaics in many different languages. Although recognized as a holy prayer by many, people often fail to study the words: OUR Father indicates who he is to those who believe in HIM. WHICH ART IN HEAVEN says we know where HE is. HALLOWED BE THY NAME is our confession of his character. I challenge you to continue studying the prayer, word by word, and phrase by phrase, so the next time you pray it, you will think and mean every word and occasionally even be humbled that he does know your name.