Hallowed be your name
by Stephen May
Today I continue to reflect on the Lord’s prayer in this weekly message. The word hallowed means to make Holy. Martin Luther writes, ‘What are we praying for when we ask that His name become holy? Is it not holy already?’ Luther goes on the point out that every baptised Christian has God’s named put upon them. He goes on to say that as name bearers we represent a good and holy God and so we are praying that God keep us from dishonouring the name (from Tim Keller’s book: Prayer: Experiencing awe and intimacy with God).
So to pray Hallowed be your name is to pray that our own lives would give due honour to the God we worship and serve. That God would be glorified through us.
Augustine of Hippo, takes Hallowed be your name a step further, by saying this petition also has the meaning something like, that God be ‘glorified among all the nations as you are glorified among us.’. It is a prayer that we as followers of Jesus would honour and glorify Jesus in our lives and that more and more people throughout the world would honour God and call upon His name.
John Calvin writes in a similar tone but adds a further thought, ‘What is more unworthy than for God’s glory to be obscured partly by our ungratefulness.’
So as we pray Hallowed be your name, it is a prayer that reaches deeply into each of our hearts. We are praying that we may live lives that give due honour to the Lord we worship. We are praying that the church itself would be a place where God is honoured above all else. And finally we are praying that we would live with a sense of gratefulness and thankfulness, rejoicing in wonder at God’s grace towards us. As we live with such gratefulness towards God our lives will more fully shine His name to others.