As I watch the events of the world around me, I am interested in the concept that God wants us to be happy. Sometimes its phrased, “God wants me to happy. If He created me this way, then it must be ok. Why would God make me this way if He didn’t want me to be happy.” But, then, how could a book be written by/for/about this deity who seems at odds with what a lot of the things that make us happy?
When I pray, I sometimes say the Lord’s Prayer. I feel like I should say it more often… its a pretty good prayer (understatement). I believe it was given to us, in part, so that we could understand the heart of God even as we ask for things. Each line tells us something about the God who provides, and about us who ask.
Hallowed be Your name… Answer 122 to the Heidelberg says that this line is as much request as it is an invocatory. By saying this, we are asking to “Help us really know You, to bless, worship, and praise You for all Your works and for all that shines forth from them: Your almighty power, wisdom, kindness, justice, mercy, and truth. And it means, help us to direct all our living – what we think, say, and do – so that Your name will never be blasphemed because of us but always honored and praised.”
We do not pray for our happiness, alone. We should not ask just for blessings and for our safety as if God’s joy was based on our happiness. Our life, our blessings and our struggles, are not about our happiness. Its about knowing a God who has called us and loves us, and wants us to know Him and to make Him known… even in our struggles and in our blessings I do not speak out of both sides of my mouth when I praise Him and ask for His help in how He’s made me. I struggle because I am at odds with His glory. I need to acknowledge His supremacy so that I can rely on Him in my struggles. We invite danger when we think that God’s goodness as a father and as a god hinge on our happiness alone.
If prayer is a constancy of our life, then there should not be a moment of joy or pain in which we can make him known. Yes, God knit me together in my mother’s womb, and he formed me innermost parts. He knows me and knew my struggles before I was born. He also saw my need for Him. God did not make me dependent on myself. He made me, us, that I, we, may pray “Hallowed be Your name…”