Christians of previous generations have considered the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer to be very important portions of Scripture. For example, in the 17th century Westminster Shorter Catechism, a summary of the Christian faith, roughly fifty percent is dedicated to the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer. This is a relatively high percentage if you consider all the other important doctrines (e.g., Trinity, Jesus Christ, salvation, the church, etc.) the Catechism must contain to be a summary of the Christian faith! Considering, then, the importance of the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer, our family has been studying the latter—the Lord’s Prayer—together.
The Lord’s Prayer contains six petitions. And the Ten Commandments contains, you guessed it, ten commandments. Upon further reflection on the prayer and commandments, I found that there is an interesting (and divine!) connection between the first commandment and the first petition. Allow me to explain.
When we pray the first petition: “hallowed be your name” (Matt 6:9), we are praying that God’s name will be deemed holy, set apart, and consecrated in our hearts and lives. We are praying that he would be first place.
In comparison, the first commandment teaches us: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:3). In other words, no other gods should be put first in our lives: God alone should be holy, set apart, and consecrated as chief in our hearts and lives.
Did you catch that? (Read the last two paragraphs if you didn’t.)
So, when we pray “hallowed be your name” we are, in reality, praying that we would “have no other gods before him.”
The first petition is a prayer to obey the first commandment!
As I grow in my knowledge of the Bible, I am continually amazed at the congruity and consistency of the word of God. It must be—and indeed it is—the very word of God!
Pastor Dan Burrus