When the unique (only begotten) Son of God teaches us to pray to our Father, we are listening to privileged information. Jesus so identified with the Father that to see him was to see the Father. To hear him teach on prayer was hear the Father teach on prayer. That is, our Father was teaching us how to communicate with him. How to agree with him. How to hear his own heart beat for us.
So what if we took what our Father teaches us about praying to him, and apply it to what we desire in the lives of our children? First of all, these things should be at the very core of our existence as fathers. I so desire that my children would walk closely with the Lord. So taking a cue from The Lord’s Prayer or The Model Prayer, here is how this father is praying for his children and grandchildren.
1. Father, make your name holy to my children and grandchildren
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
What father doesn’t hope that his children will respect and honor the family name and respect their father’s name. It appears that years ago, a German shopkeeper used a placard or sign with a picture of a goose. Hence the name Ganz meaning goose. Later it was Americanized to Gantz. In those days images were used for signs instead of letters because most people could not read.
I’m proud of that heritage and hope my descendants are as well. It thrills me that my children have such great respect for my father. When they hear the term grandpa, they respect it.
So what do my children and grandchildren think when they hear my name? Do they respect my name? Do they value our relationship? Do they know that even though I have failed miserably that I love Jesus deeply? Do they know the gospel of grace that has so richly been poured out into my life? Do they love the one I most love – Jesus?
I know that for a period of life, my name was not respected by my children. I cannot tell you how much that hurt. It wasn’t on them. I had acted disrespectfully and had a name of ill repute.
But Father in heaven, you have never acted in any manner other than that which demands our adoration and honor. Father would you so move in the lives of my children and grandchildren that they will treat your name (which represents your character) with awe, with wonder, with reverence, with holiness and with worship? Will you stir deep within them a passion for the one who is above all? Will you create in them a heart that beats for you?
That is this father’s prayer for his children and grandchildren. It’s about the name of the Lord.