Hallowed Be Your Name
… hallowed be your name … (Matthew 6:9)
In yesterday’s reading, we saw the importance of starting with "God" whenever we pray. But having started with Him, what do we now say to Him? Well, said, Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer, focus on three things: first, the honoring of God’s name; second, the coming of God’s kingdom; third, the doing of God’s will. Let’s look at the first one of those today: hallowed be Your name. Of course, the word to "hallow" isn’t one that is much used nowadays. That’s why some modern translations use different expressions: "help us to honor your name"(CEV); "may your name always be kept holy" (NCV); "may your name be honored’"(NLT).
In Bible times, a name was more than how you distinguished one person from another; a name summed up someone’s character or calling. So, Abram ("exalted father") had his name changed by God to "Abraham" ("father of many" -- Genesis 17:5) to reflect what God was about to do for him and through him; and his promised son was called Isaac ("he laughs" -- Genesis 21:3-6) to remind his parents of how they laughed with disbelief when God promised him to them, but then laughed with joy when they finally held him in their arms.
Likewise, God’s name tells us about who He is: He is first and foremost, Jesus says in this prayer, a Father. So when you come to him, start with that thought, and tell him how much you honor and love him for being exactly that! And then think of some of his other names: names like El Shaddai (God Almighty), El Olam (Eternal God), El Roi (the God Who sees), Jehovah-Jireh (the Lord Who provides), Jehovah-Nissi (the Lord my banner), Jehovah-Shalom (the Lord is peace), Jehovah-Tsidkenu (the Lord our righteousness), Jehovah-Rophi (the Lord my healer) – and that’s just a few from the Bible to get us going!
Take a few moments to tell God how very, very pleased you are that He has revealed Himself to you through His names; but above all, as a perfect, loving, heavenly Father. Go on, get excited about it (most young children do with their dads!).
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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