Prayer series #6: Hallowed Be Thy Name
“Hallowed be Thy Name” is the first of seven petitions in the Lord’s Prayer. The first three petitions concern our Heavenly Father and the last four concern our own needs. This teaches us that when we pray we are to always put God’s concerns before our own. That is, we should consider God’s will and desires over our own will and desires. When we pray this request, we are recognizing that the glory of God is the ultimate purpose and goal in life. All other requests must be subordinate to this one. We cannot pray right unless the glory of God is dominant in our desires. We must not ask God for anything that would contradict His holiness and His revealed will in His Word.
What is the Meaning of the word Hallowed?
The word Hallowed means sanctified or set apart for sacred use. “Hallowed be Thy Name” is a command of God to us as well as a desire on our part as Christians to hallow His name.
We are instructed in Exodus 20:7 in the Ten Commandments that God’s name is never to be taken in vain. Certainly it is never to be used as a curse word, nor is it to ever be used casually or carelessly as a joke. Christians are never to bear His name thoughtlessly. There are people who call themselves Christians, but they bear His name with a “so what” attitude. They have no interest in the Bible, nor in faithful church attendance or Christian fellowship.
Many Christians enjoy an exciting “worship experience” and love to sing about Jesus, but do not have any interest in studying and obeying His Word. Such Christians fail to understand that according to Psalm 138:2, God’s Word is to be magnified over Jesus’ name. The person who does not love God’s Word doesn’t really have much love for Jesus.
What is the Meaning of God’s Name?
If I am to Hallow His Name, I had better know His Name. God has many names and we learn those names and the meaning of them as we study the Bible. Psalm 5:11 “Let them also that love Thy Name be joyful in Thee.” Psalm 20:1 “The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee.” Proverbs 18:10 “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are safe.”
Exodus 34 gives an account of Moses going up into Mount Sinai to meet God. Starting with verse 5 we read, “And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the Name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and upon the children’s children unto the third and to the fourth generation.” The next verse tells us how Moses responded to the knowledge of God by bowing to the earth and worshipping Him.
When we say we would like to know someone, what we mean is, I would really like to know his character and personality. I would like to know what he stands for. I would like to know him intimately as a friend. The name is synonymous with the person. The names of God found in the Bible are a study in themselves. Let me list some of those names.
1. Elohim – Almighty God, Creator.
2. Jehovah – The God who reveals Himself to us.
3. El-Shaddai – God blesses us.
4. Adonai – He is our owner and master
5. Jehovah-Jireh He is our provider
6. Jehovah-Rophe – He is our healer
7. Jehovah-Nissi – Our banner in warfare
8. Jehovah M’Kaddesh – Who sanctifies us
9. Jehovah- Shalom – Our peace
10. Jehovah-Tsidkenu – Our righteousness
11. Jehovah-Rohi – My Shepherd
12. Jehovah- Shammah – Is there with us.
13. Immanuel – God with us.
14. The Lord Jesus Christ – God in flesh to save us.
As we pray “Hallowed be Thy Name” we are praying that God will hallow and sanctify His Name, His character and His reputation before the world as people observe and get to know those of us who belong to Him. We are praying that we will do nothing to dishonor or disgrace His name.
Towards the end of Israel’s Old Testament history, the prophet Malachi showed the people that they had despised God’s name. Malachi 1:6- 2:2
John the Baptist teaches us how to magnify God when he says, “He must increase, I must decrease.” John 3:30 The more genuinely humble we are as Christians, the greater Christ is magnified in our lives.
That’s why Christ raised up His Church; that regenerated Jews and Gentiles together might bring glory to God’s Name. That is the purpose of the Church. Acts 15:14 Read Jesus’ prayer in the Upper Room just before He went to the cross John 17.
How many Christians live a horrid testimony and bring shame and disgrace to the name of Christ! Remember, if you are a Christian, you bear Christ’s name everywhere you go and in whatever you do or say. Colossians 3:17
Can we really hallow God’s Name?
Not really. His name is already hallowed. A child cannot make his father’s name honorable if it is not already honorable by the father’s own character. But if his name is already honorable, the child can magnify and enhance that name and reputation by his own attitude and conduct as it reflects on his father. Or a child can bring shame to his father by his own rebellion and misconduct.
So when we pray “Hallowed by Thy Name” we are asking God to help us to live our lives so that we bring honor and glory to God.
We are not just praying to God. We are preaching to ourselves and warning ourselves to live our lives in such a way that we bring honor to God.
To hallow God’s name is to give God the supreme place in our thoughts, affections and in the way we live our lives.
Our desire is just the opposite of the builders of the Tower of Babel recorded in Genesis 11:4 “Let us make a name for ourselves.”
“Hallowed be Thy Name” is not just my request. It is the requests of all true Christians everywhere.
Why is this request first in the Lord’s Prayer?
It is so basic and so important that until it is settled, there is no reason to continue praying to God. If God’s honor is not important to you, don’t waste your time praying for your own requests. Your requests don’t matter. God is not interested in you and will not listen to you. Isaiah 1:11-20
You honor God first with your life and He will see to it that all your needs are met, Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Let us not just honor Him with our lips. Let us make sure our life backs up what we say.
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