Q. What does the first petition mean?
A. “Hallowed be your name” means: Help us to truly know you (1), to honor, glorify, and praise you for all your works and for all that shines forth from them: your almighty power, wisdom, kindness, justice, mercy, and truth (2). And it means, help us to direct all our living— what we think, say, and do- so that your name will never be blasphemed because of us but always honored and praised (3).
Read: (1) Jer. 9:23-24; 31:33-34; Matt. 16:17; John 17:3; (2) Ex. 34:5-8; Ps. 145; Jer. 32:16-20; Luke 1:46-55, 68-75; Rom. 11:33-36; (3) Ps. 115:1; Matt. 5:16.
Have you ever seen your president go to another country and attend a very important world wide broadcasted meeting and say or do something embarrassing? How does it make you feel? I don’t know about you but when my president says something that goes against the basic believes of what it is to be part of my country I feel upset, embarrassed and betrayed. It is a misrepresentation of my nation. It is a misrepresentation of the core of my identity! Well, similar to that is the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer. But what does this mean? Let’s study question 121 of The Heidelberg Catechism and find out.
When Jesus teaches us to pray His first petition is to hallow His name. Hallow is to separate it for a reason. It is to make it holy. In his book “The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down”, Albert Mohler says: “When Jesus petitions God to hallow his name, he is asking that God act in such a way that he visibly demonstrates his holiness and his glory” (p.61). What Jesus is asking for here is for God the Father to act in such a way that He is known as the holy and glorious one. Christians want for this to happen. We want to make God’s name known for His holiness and glory. But how does this happen?
Well, He acts through Jesus in you. When you become a believer you become an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). An ambassador is the highest ranking official in a foreign country who represents his nation. An ambassador has the authority to talk and act in accordance to the official positions of his nation. If he talks, he talks as a representative of his country. If he does, he does as a representative of his country. All who know him see a reflection of his nation’s positions and hence, he carries himself with the authority of his nation.
The same should happen to us. When we become ambassadors, we are to be part of God’s ministry of reconciliation. We are entrusted with The Gospel by God (1 Thes. 2:4). This is The Father’s official position from heaven: Reconciliation by faith in Christ for His glory. And therefore, as God calls more into this holy people who accomplishes His good works (Eph 2:10), God shines as holy and glorious. His name is made hallowed. The more joy we see in what it means to be made His representative, the more others will see the gracious and official position that our Hallowed Father has for them.
So dear sister, as we close our teaching, I need to ask you: are you hallowing God’s name in your study of the Word and in your living of The Word? When people see you, are they seeing the Holiness and glory of God? Are your actions representing Our Father’s official position of reconciliation thus hallowing His name? And if you are not, would you pray and consider ways in which you may hallow His name that others may know His holiness too?