As it is in Heaven
How do you imagine Heaven? I had a dream once about Heaven, and it felt very real. I had my own home, and I knew everyone, and there was an amazing camaraderie between everyone. Then we gathered to worship, and it was such wonderful worship. I knew the song in the dream, but it was not a song I had ever heard before. Thousands upon thousands of us all worshipping with this new song… I can’t really tell you how incredibly awesome that felt. After that dream, the idea of going to Heaven has seemed a lot more real, certainly without fear.
I’ve come to the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew – looking at 6:9-10. Jesus had been saying how not to pray, and now he gives the positive instruction.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Most of us get stuck at the word ‘hallowed’. My father thought it was just for him, as a child, as he misheard it as ‘Harold be my name’! It means holy, honoured, sanctified. Such a long way from the swear word we hear bandied around so easily. Think in terms of that intense worship I saw in my dream – that’s how we come in true prayer. In awe at the very name of our wonderful Holy God.
And then we should go on to pray that people, me included, should obey God, just like everyone in Heaven does. We are asking that Earth should look like Heaven. That people should behave like they do in Heaven. What would that look like?
What if homes were full of people who loved each other, and sought only the best for each other?
What if schools were full of students who respected their teachers and each other, and the teachers sought only to maximise the potential of each wonderful individual?
What if we didn’t need hospitals, because everyone got healed; or prisons, because they would be empty?
Can you get your head round a world that looks like Heaven? Because that is what you are praying for in this first part of the Lord’s Prayer. And that is how Jesus said we should pray. His instruction. If that thought doesn’t revitalise your prayer life and mine, I really don’t know what will!