Through Jesus Christ, the Christian has the audacity to talk with God on a familiar terms. In Christ, we have access to the Father as coheirs with the Son, and thus through grace we are given a certain equality with God. Such a radical claim does not mean that we cease to be humans, but rather that our humanity is brought into a whole new horizon of activity, a dramatic communion that bridges time and eternity.
The greatest failure of many Christians is that they fail to tap into the potential of this incredible gift. Instead of a spirit of confidence, many retreat into a lukewarm spirit, a petty spirit of mediocrity and sentimentality. Religion is not meant to simply be a warm blanket that soothes and calms the more difficult questions of our life, but an incredible journey of transformation, growth, and ultimately, sanctity.
To acknowledge the holiness of God’s name is both an act of humility on God’s part and an invitation to a spirit of boldness and prophecy. In Jesus Christ, God reveals his humility and comes to us in our lowly condition. Without God losing any of his omnipotence, he puts at our disposal the indwelling of his Holy Spirit and the vitality needed to live completely for him and for others. In turn, he calls us to use his name as an act of habitual remembrance, a weapon against lukewarmness and forgetfulness.
So often as we invoke God’s name, we invite his presence into the midst of our lives. So often as we cry out from the depths of pain and suffering, we give him permission to enter into and transform our fallen human condition. It is this invitation which constitutes one of the essential features of prayer. Prayer is not so much a series of petitions or carefully considered pious reflections, but rather a simple surrender of faith, hope, and love.
In this, we must dare to call on God by name. To speak with him in an exchange of intimacy and familiarity; an exchange of boldness and audacity.
This is an article in a series on the Our Father. This article relates to “Hallowed be thy name.”