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The Lord’s Prayer in Reformed Worship, Pt. 3

The Lord’s Prayer has six petitions: three thy petitions and three us petitions.

The first three petitions have in view God’s name, God’s kingdom and God’s will; the last three petitions, our bread, our forgiveness and our deliverance. 

All six petitions—not only the first three—are God-centered. All six petitions have in view God’s glory as well as our benefit.

God is glorified in the last three petitions as much as in the first three petitions. And we benefit or profit from praying the first three petitions as much as from praying the last three petitions.

The first petition is “Hallowed be your name.”

This petition is a prayer of praise, adoration, wonderment, reverence, and awe.

Prayer is a matter of awe and wonderment. It begins with praise or adoration that arises out of our awe and wonderment as we contemplate God.[1]

We may begin our prayers by reciting (or singing) psalms or hymns of praise and adoration. Praise hallows God’s name. Praise is the gateway into God’s heavenly presence. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4).

In scripture, there are many different genres of prayer. There are prayers of praise, adoration, thanksgiving, lamentation, confession, supplication, petition, and intercession (cf. 1 Tim. 2:1; Phil. 4:6).

It is appropriate to begin our prayers with praise and adoration (cf. Isaiah 6:2–3; Luke 1:46–49; Psalm 103:1; 145:1–3; 113:1–3; 8:1).

The Shorter Catechism sums up the content of the first petition. When we pray, “Hallowed be your name,”

we pray that God would enable us and others to glorify him in all that whereby he maketh himself known, and that he would dispose all things to his own glory” (SC 101).

That’s what we pray in the first petition.

In our next post, we will look at the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer.


[1] Hughes Oliphant Old, Themes and Variations for a Christian Doxology: Some Thoughts on the Theology of Worship (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1992) 23.


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