Focal Passage: Matthew 6:9b; Psalm 96:1-9
The Medal of Honor is a well-known award given to those who have distinguished themselves in military combat by going beyond the call of duty. The prestigious award is given to the recipient with gratitude and thanksgiving from government officials and is recognized even by civilians as something worthy of honor, respect and admiration.
In Matthew 6, once we first see God as our loving Father, we can then petition that His name be honored above all. With thanksgiving and gladness, our foundational prayer can be “hallowed be thy name.”
With this refrain, Psalm 96 becomes a poetic commentary on what it means to honor God as holy. First, we must declare His works and His praise for what He has done (vv. 1-3).
Declaring, singing and telling are all phrases to describe the honoring of God.
Next, the majesty and splendor of God must awaken us to praise (vv. 4-6). In the end, God is the only thing that can hold any true worth and honor. Man-made idols can never last (v. 5).
The rest of the psalm is a description of the entire world giving honor and worth to God (vv. 7-13).
The peoples, the heavens and earth, the sea and fields, everything in the world should give God true honor.
As the cosmos gives honor to its creator, we too must come to our Father with prayers and petitions that seek to honor Him. Our most foundational belief and request to God is to be fully honored in our lives. In fact, that’s what it means to be a Christian (1 Corinthians 10:31). Yes, God wants to hear our requests. Our good Father desires to hear from His children.
But before this, we must reframe our minds and hearts around this reality: God’s glory. When God’s glory is our first and foremost concern, the petitions and requests found in the model prayer can then fall into place.