“Hallowed be Your name”
There is a story that a little boy, after having heard the Lord’s Prayer, was convinced that God’s name was Harold! That must have delighted God!
After the acknowledgement of the opening words, we move on to the first petition, or request, in the Lord’s Prayer. However, it is not one focussed on us, but on God – honouring Him and the name that He has revealed to us. It is as if Jesus is slowing us down and reminding us that who God is, is more important than what He might do for us. We need to ‘focus on His face and not His hand!’
Attached to a name are both identity and reputation. God’s name, the name that He disclosed to Moses, is unique and totally unlike any other name. “I AM WHO I AM.” (Yahweh means this – or “I will be who I will be.”) This name of God is so special that when He gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites they were told,
- “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” (Exodus 20:7) (NIV)
- “No using the name of GOD your God, in curses or silly banter; GOD won’t put up with the irreverant use of his name.” (Exodus 20:7)((MSG)
Honouring the name of God at times became extremely important in the history of Israel.
- “ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.” (1 Chronicles 16:29)
- “I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David, when he said, `Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.” (1 Kings 5:5)
- “But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there” (2 Chronicles 6:6)
The Psalmist proclaimed
- “Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 115:1)
- “Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.” (Psalm 34:3)
However, we do not honour the Name of God only in our worship songs. We honour Him in our response to Him, that is, in the way we think and speak and live. Our lives and living become the clearest indication of the everyday value that we place upon Him. Every aspect of our lives should proclaim the silent but unmistakeable message –“Hallowed be Your Name!” Having prayed the prayer we have pledged ourselves to live the life that sees it fulfilled.
There is also a far broader application of the prayer. We are joining sincere believers throughout the world in praying that God will see to it that His name is recognised and honoured everywhere and by everyone. In an age when the name of God, and of His Son, is being legislated out of the public arena it is more necessary than ever to pray the prayer that Jesus taught us, as we call upon the name of the Lord. We can do so with confidence because we know that,
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)
Ask God to help you to pray and live to His honour and glory.
“Our Father in Heaven; hallowed be Your Name.”