“Hallowed be Thy Name…”
Prayer is not just a matter of cause ( our prayer) and effect(God’s answer).
True prayer is more of an alignment. We pray to align ourselves with God’s will.
God’s name will be hallowed, no matter what you or I do. It is in the plan and prefect will of God that ultimately, God’s name will be seen by all as glorious, exalted, supreme and Holy.
Why then does Jesus teach us to pray that God’s name be hallowed, when in fact God’s name shall be Hallowed, now and forever?
God wants to lead us to want, crave, desire and even require His will, for in doing so, we are brought into alignment with reality.
The Lord’s prayer is in a similar pattern to the Ten Commandments, in that it begins with a statement of sheer Grace,
“Our Father who art in Heaven…”
“I am the Lord Thy God who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage…”
In both cases we begin with a statement of the Grace of God. What grace to be able to know God as Father and to petition heaven!
Then the Lord’s prayer is divided into two ‘tables’ of requests, just as the Ten Commandments are composed of two tables of Laws. The first table of each concerns our relationship to God, the second have to do with our human needs, or human relationships.
“Hallowed Be Thy Name…Thy Kingdom come…They Will be done”.
These are the Lord’s concerns and we are taught to pray for them first, to come into sympathy with each request, to let these desires become our deepest aspirations, and to fervently long for them.
There is no question, that God’s name shall be hallowed, that His Kingdom shall come, and that His will shall be completely accomplished on earth as it is in heaven.
The real question is , who wants this? Who longs for it, who has set their life in alignment with these things and what has the practice of praying for them done in the soul of the prayers? Praying in this manner is the very essence of “seeking things which are above” us.
What does it mean to pray that God’s name be hallowed?
We pray that God will be known as Holy first of all, in our own lives. We want to know the Holy One, to be able to fear and worship and adore God as God. Knowing God is eternal life.
The “knowledge of the Holy is understanding” according to the ninth chapter of Proverbs. We are petitioning God for that understanding of the Holy. We are asking God to show us what it means that He alone is Holy, and all that is Holy derives from Him who is above.
Has it ever occurred to you to pray about God’s name?
The name of God in scripture refers to the entire person. It is all that the person is and does and stands for. In praying “Hallowed be thy name” we are praying about the very name of God, that we would see it in the things which are Holy, such as in scripture, and in the Son of God. We want to know how to “sanctify the LORD God in our hearts”, even after forty plus years as a Christian I still want to know the name of God and to live for Him.
Furthermore we are praying that God would be known in this fallen world, and that He would be seen as Holy. What a profane and blasphemous world we live in. All that is Holy is being subjected to desecration in this toxic generation. People have no idea the thin ice they tread across as they blaspheme, and profane holy things such as sex, marriage, children, life, and the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We grieve over it and pray that men would be gripped by a holy awareness of God. In olden times there have been revivals of the Spirit of God, visitations which shook whole communities of people, revealing the sense of God, and of Holiness. I have no doubt all of this came in response to the prayers of the Saints.
People who had otherwise given God no thought whatsoever, and who lived profane ,self seeking lives, have been suddenly awakened to the reality of the living God, and of Jesus Christ, and been driven to their knees and even faces in awful repentance, under the influence of the Spirit of God.
Imagine Young people so awakened to God’s reality, that they stumbled out of dancehalls, and out into the streets looking for a church service, so that they could get right with God!
This is something of what we are praying for when we beseech God to “Hallow His name”.
This is really very much like the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me”. This commandment in essence contains all of the rest of the commandments. Even so “Hallowed be thy name” is really the essence of all prayer.
This particular prayer is a petition for the knowledge of God himself. It is also prayer for a deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ whom God has sent. It is to remember who God is, what He has revealed himself to be, and that he will be real to us. We hallow the name of God when we know and trust in him in all trials and against all sin and temptation.
We are praying for our own dedication and consecration to God, by praying this prayer. We are praying that God would be seen in the church, that his name would be glorified in the way we live our lives.
“Hallow” means to separate. Hallowing God’s name means we separate and exalt God above our own corrupt opinions, thoughts and desires. We want God to “sanctify us through the Truth” that we truly reflect and model the nature of God. This is something to pray seriously for.