Recent Posts
Lowell Brueckner

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Hallowed Be Thy Name


Matthew 6:9, Luke 11:2

Hallowed be Thy name!
The Gospel of Luke has been called, I think fitly, the Gospel of Prayer. Here is a list of verses, in which Luke refers to prayer, showing by the number of them, his interest in this highest of Christian privileges and practices: 1:10, 13; 2:37; 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28-29; 10:2; 11:1-13; 18:1-14; 19:46; 21:36; 22:40-46.

We can see then why Luke, of all the Gospel writers, would not pass over the occasion when one of the disciples, after Jesus had been praying, asked him to teach them all to pray. Leonard Ravenhill, I suppose among many others, made note of the fact that the disciple’s desire came, as he heard Christ pray, and his request followed immediately after he finished.  “He didn’t ask, ‘Teach us to sing’ or ‘Teach us to preach’”, Len would say, “but ‘Teach us to pray’”. There was something so enviable about His communion with the Father… its intimacy, its excellence and passion… that it set the disciple’s heart on fire. He wanted this!

We might see by the quote in Luke’s account that Jesus was teaching them literal words to recite: “When you pray, say…” Matthew quotes from the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus gave to all within His hearing almost the same words as He did in Luke’s Gospel. On the other hand, He begins differently, saying, After this manner pray” or simply “Pray like this”. He was giving them a model for prayer, which they could follow, rather than a recitation.

There is value in the literal and exact recital of this prayer, because certainly, the words of Jesus Himself cannot be improved upon. Each one should be turned over carefully in our minds and then pronounced with understanding. However, Jesus also gave us freedom and amplitude in expressing our hearts in our own words, but with the care of keeping our desires and petitions within certain confines.

Hallowed be Thy Name

There is so much to say about each line of this prayer, but after the salutation, Our Father Who art in heaven, at this time I want to concentrate on the first petition. The first three requests, therefore the priorities in prayer, have to do with the glory of God. Prayer is the expression of the heart and life of a Christian and it centers on the truth that we are creatures created by God for His pleasure. We exist for His glory and we pray accordingly. Our primary desire and concern is that His Name should be hallowed, before we begin to bring our needs before Him. We recognize that our needs can only be satisfied, when they are in accordance with the hallowing of His name.

Here is the definition of the key word in the request: Hallowed (gr. hagiazo) means to make holy, that is, ceremonially purify or consecrate; mentally, to venerate: - hallow, be holy, sanctify. It derives from hagios signifying an awful thing, sacred, physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated, most holy one, thing, saint.

Of course, God is who He is and there is no adding to Him or taking away from Him. He is perfectly holy and cannot be any more holy than He is. What then are we praying for? We are praying for an active consciousness of His holiness, first of all, in our personal lives and thought, then in His church, and finally in the general world of men. We are praying that all the attributes of His nature and essence be manifest in all these areas. We are praying that He be exalted and given complete devotion because:

He only is worthy.

This is the priority, above all else, and we should delight in giving full attention to this petition. We say, “Oh Father, let my existence, my living, my deeds, my words and my thoughts hallow Your Name, both now and forever. May this purpose grow in me until it becomes my one aim. Even now as I am before You, let my whole being be taken up with Your holiness.”

Take time to let the Word feed your heart, and for your mind to be illuminated with the highest concepts possible concerning His person. You might have the Bible open before your eyes, so that you can feast upon some choice passage or passages that are given by the Spirit to human beings, in order that they may exalt Him, such as Revelation 4:8 and 11. "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!… Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."

Can we ever pour out our hearts in prayer to God for the hallowing of His Name without mentioning His plan of redemption? Please read carefully what Jonathan Edwards wrote, “The holiness of God never appeared to so great a degree as when God executed vengeance upon his own dear Son… The justice of God that required man’s damnation, and seemed inconsistent with his salvation, now as much requires the salvation of those that believe in Christ as ever before it required their damnation.” As in the book of Revelation, when heaven gazed upon the throne and hallowed the Name of the One who sat thereon, so with the heavenly beings, we will turn to see the promised Lion of the tribe of Judah as the Lamb, who was slain: “By your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth… Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing... To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!"

You will soon reach the limitations of your mind and expression and you will need another form of prayer in order to continue. Your words will come to an end, your mind will fill to capacity, and you will then turn to your heart in awe and in silent worship. Because we can never capture His fullness, therefore we worship an awesome, infinite God, who is our Father in heaven.  

At this point, we have reached the highest level of human experience. There is nothing higher than for our hearts to be moved, to fall before Him and worship in Spirit and in truth. He alone is worthy and to give our hearts and minds to any other person, thing or imagination, is idolatry. He is our Creator and we owe Him our existence. We pray, hallowed be Thy Name, because…

Where His Name is not hallowed, all is chaos.

The individual human life that does not hallow Him is thrown into chaos. The church that does not hallow Him comes unglued. It loses its purpose and its candlestick is removed. The society that does not hallow Him becomes a jungle of heathen savages, given over to their perverse lusts and to a foolish, reprobate mind, loving only themselves. Living becomes dangerous in that kind of environment.

God, the Creator of all that exists, is the fountain of life, the author of good, and the only source of decency or sanity and, where His Name is not hallowed, there is no mine from which any of these treasures can be discovered and put to use. When we pray that His Name be hallowed, we are praying for the salvation of the individual from eternal perdition. We are praying that the church be rescued from apostasy and that society be preserved from self-destruction. If God’s Name is not hallowed in the lives and minds of human beings, there is no hope!

The daily news testifies to the devastating consequences of a world that has rejected its Creator and adopted a theory of evolution. It has rejected His truth and has eagerly followed the lies of an anti-christ spirit. It has mocked His moral law and filled society with a cesspool of perversion. It has lost respect for human life and produced more murdering doctors and nurses, mothers and fathers, and political leaders than Nazism ever thought possible. And we need to pray hallowed be Thy Name because…

It is the door that opens to His coming kingdom and the unfolding of His will.

Prayers that are offered in succession to the hallowing of His Name are “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” His will cannot be advanced, where His Name is not hallowed. All the work and sacrifice that is involved in Christian service, all evangelism and church endeavors, all missionary work and humanitarian causes go awry, when and where His Name is not hallowed.

God moves in the direction of righteousness and the manifestation of His glory.The Psalmist recognized this truth “It is time for the Lord to act; they have frustrated Your law” (Ps. 119:126). The Lord is working towards a future reign of righteousness on the earth. His will in your life and mine will carry us in that direction. His sovereign purpose in the church will lead towards the hallowing of His Name.

God in heaven cannot look down and smile upon any endeavor that is not to His glory and does not bring honor to Him. It may please people; it may draw crowds by the thousands and make them happy, but if it doesn’t make them holy, the effort is in vain. If it exalts men, it dishonors God. If church matters are decided in business meetings, rather than prayer meetings, you can be sure that its plans rest upon unholy human wisdom. In that case, His kingdom is not advanced nor is His will being carried out. The direction that our lives take and the corporate direction of the Christian church, depends upon a sincere, open-hearted prayer: Hallowed be Thy Name!



Post a Comment