Thursday, August 23, 2012, Part 1
“In this manner, therefore, pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name’” (Matthew 6:9).
IDEA: “Hallowed be your name” is not a request that God be made holy, but that we will be able to reflect His holiness in the way we pray and the way we live.
PURPOSE: To help listeners pray this petition with meaning.
When a police officer knocks on the door and shouts, “Open in the name of the law!” what’s going on? What is the “name of the law”?
When in the Lord’s Prayer we ask, “Hallowed by your name,” what are we praying for?
I. Is this a request that somehow God’s name will be made holy?
In the Old Testament God’s “name” stands for His person and is honored by His people. His name is often described as holy:
Psalm 30:4 – “Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holy name.”
Psalm 97:12 – “Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holy name.”
Psalm 111:9 – “He has sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever; holy and awesome is his name.”
Holiness is a prime characteristic of God.
II. Looking at the Old Testament, what do you think we’re asking for when we say “Hallowed by your name”?
Look at two passages that refer to God’s name.
Isaiah 29:23 – “When he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they will hallow My name, and hallow the Holy One of Jacob, and fear the God of Israel.”
“What do you think “keep my name holy” means?
What is the concern of the prophets like Ezekiel in 20:8-9 and 36:20:23?
Ezekiel 20:8-9—”But they rebelled against me and would not obey me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, ‘I will pour out my fury on them and fulfill my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’ But I acted for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.”
Ezekiel 36:20-23 – “When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned my holy name—when they said to them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they have gone out of his land.’ But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went. Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for my holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,’ says the Lord God, ‘when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.’ ”
What should we be asking for when we pray, “hallowed be Your name”?