And he said to them, When you pray, say, Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done…
Could we raise our devotion to this pitch, it were indeed in its proper zenith. But our prayers for the most part are blemished with some partialities and by-respects, and ourselves are more respected in them than God. If they be petitory, we request some good for ourselves; if eucharistical, we give thanks for some good we have received; if deprecatory, we request to be preserved from some evil. Still ourselves have the chiefest part; and our prayers are like the Parthian horsemen, who ride one way, but look another; they seem to go towards God, but indeed reflect upon ourselves. And how many of us would fall down before God if we did not stand in need of Him? And this may be the reason why many times our prayers are sent forth like the raven out of Noah's ark, and never return. But when we make the glory of God the chief end of our devotion, they go forth like the dove, and return to us again with an olive-branch. It is a nice observation of Quadrigarius in Gellius, that darts and arrows which are shot upward do fly more level, and more surely hit the mark, than those which are shot downwards. But it is most true in our prayers, which are called "ejaculations," because they are darted from us as shafts out of a bow: those that fly upward to God, and aim at His glory, do more fix upon and take Him than those other which fly downward upon ourselves.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.