The first of the six petitions in this prayer establishes the proper order, for it is a prayer for God's honor. It is, “Hallowed be thy name.” The word "hallowed" is a word that has lost much of its meaning today simply because it has dropped out of common speech. But it is related etymologically to other words we do know. The Greek word translated here as “hallowed’' is the word from which we also get our English word "holy,” and it is the word that is translated in other places as "saint" or “sanctify." Usually it refers to setting something apart for God's use. Objects that were used in the temple were holy or sanctified because they were set apart for God's use in the temple worship. Christians are called holy for the same reason. 

The opening words of the Lord's Prayer teach us who those are who can pray and what the privileges of access are for them. We say, "Our Father, who art in heaven," implying that God may be approached as a father by those (and only those) who have been reborn into His spiritual family. It is entirely possible, however, that a person might be a member of God's family and know this, and yet know very little about praying. Consequently, six petitions follow, the purpose of each being to instruct us in general terms what we are to pray for and how we are to do it. 

Is He my daddy? If He is, then He will help me in the days of my infancy. He will teach me to walk spiritually, picking me up when I fall and directing my steps securely. That is why Hosea can report God as saying, "Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk. I took them up in my arms... I led them with cords of compassion, with the bands of love. ... I bent down to them and fed them... How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel! (Hos. 11:3-4, 8). Surely such a God will keep me from falling and will present me faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24). 

There are not one but two families and fatherhoods in this world. There is the family of Adam into which all men are born. And there is the family of God into which some men are reborn by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. These latter were once children of darkness; they are now children of light (Eph. 5:8). They were dead in trespasses and sins; they are now alive in Christ (Eph. 2:1). They were once children of wrath and disobedience; they are now children of love, faith, and obedience (Eph. 2:2-3). These are God's children. And these and only these can come to God as their Father. 

Now you will have missed the point of all that I have been saying up to now if you have failed to notice that this first phrase of the Lord's Prayer, properly understood, cuts to pieces that false doctrine of the universal fatherhood of God that's been so popular in this century. According to the Bible God is most certainly not the father of all men. He is uniquely the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. And He becomes the Father only of those men who believe on Christ and who are united to Him in faith through the Holy Spirit.