The first petition Jesus taught his disciples to pray is “Hallowed be YOUR Name”. (Matthew 6.9) In other words, the priority of our lives – of the lives of all who are followers of Jesus – is to love God, enjoy God, and to seek his glory above all else.
J.I. Packer, in his book Growing in Christ, however, mindful of our tendency toward Self, suggests:
“Were we left to ourselves, any praying we did would both start and end with ourselves, for our natural self-centeredness knows no bounds.”
What would a self-serving prayer sound like? Perhaps something like this prayer I recently stumbled upon:
My Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be MY Name: My Kingdom come: Give me more; fame & fortune; prestige & power; Let ME be the Ruler of MY life, each and every hour.
Hallowed be MY Name: My Will be done. The perfect family; the next promotion… You say you know my desires… Well then, set them in motion…
Hallowed be MY Name: Give me this day my perceived need; Give me what I want – and don’t call it Greed…
Hallowed be MY Name: Forgive my sins, at least the ones I will admit; all of the others you’ll just have to permit.
Hallowed by MY Name: Lead me not into temptation – I mean the severest of kind; those temptation I find insignificant, those should be fine…
Hallowed be MY Name: Deliver me from evil, death, and despair; For me to experience them would never seem fair.
Hallowed be MY Name: For My Kingdom; For My Power; and For My Glory.