Hallowed be your name

Posted on May 21, 2012 · Posted in Prayer

This next line of the Lord’s Prayer is a statement of worship and honor.  God is our father. He resides in heaven. Therefore, he is a different sort of being from you and me. We are not the Father of all and we do not reside in a place that is sinless and wholly reflects the character of God. It is the very nature of God’s character that makes him hallowed or holy.   Thus, Jesus says that all that God is, his name, is holy, set apart. In this sense, hallowedness is appropriate for God and for none other. If we are to think of God at all, especially when we come before him to pray, we are to acknowledge and ascribe to God something that can be ascribed to no other being – hallowedness.

Christ says that we are to begin our prayer by identifying God for he is, the unique father of all. Then, we must acknowledge his uniqueness, his specialness. God is holy, his name is to be hallowed. This is important! Only through association with God can anyone be holy. So, the church is described as holy, not because of anything good or worthy that is within the church, because the church has been purchased by the holy blood of Christ.  The ground that Moses stood upon was holy not because of quality of the dirt, but because the Lord of heaven and earth was there.

When you teach your children to pray that God’s name is to be hallowed, you are teaching them that God alone is special and good. You are acknowledging that he will not give his glory to another. When your teenagers pray, ascribing hallowedness to God reinforces the vital truth God is much bigger than they are. This is an important reality for someone who may feel lost or alone or cut-off.

Christ’s words are clear, concise, and direct. All can grasp their meaning.  Of course the reality of these truths must first be lived out by you. Do your prayers begin with the reality of who God says he is, of who Jesus Christ says that he is? Are you blown away by the holiness of God? This is the pattern of Deuteronomy 6:6&7 – you are to take what is deeply impressed upon your heart and give this precious truth to your children. Begin your prayers with the earnest desire to ascribe hallowedness to God and God alone. Then teach your children how to pray by following you as you follow and obey these wonderful words from Christ in his prayer to his father, who is in heaven.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.