The Great Sayings in the Gospels

Message 40-2

How Shall We Pray?

Hallowed be Thy Name

Matt 6:9‑13

9          After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10        Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11        Give us this day our daily bread.

12        And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13        And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. KJV

In the last message we dealt with the first issues that should control our thinking as we approach God in prayer and the matters we should address with Him first.  We should remember how and for what causes we came to be in a relationship with Him in which we might call Him ‘Father.’  We are to remember that we are His child by and through a birth that was granted to us in grace and totally apart from our works, that even the faith by which we believed unto salvation was His free and gracious gift.  We also learned that we are to come in a spirit of reverence, seeing and envisioning Him as on His throne in glory, high and lifted up, worthy of our deepest and most profound worship and adoration.  Today we come to an issue hardly thought of by many who claim to be Christian: His name is Holy.

  1. The Name of God.

  1. The ‘Name’ was a matter of great concern to the Jews.

The issue for them began when Moses encountered God at the burning bush and inquired of Him His name.

                        Ex 3:13‑15

                        13        And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

                        14        And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

                        15        And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. KJV

From that text, the Jews developed a special name for God that could only be written but never spoken by anyone but the High Priest and that only on the most holy day, the Day of Atonement, once a year.

When this special name of God appears in the text, they would read the generic name for God, ‘Adonai,’ (Lord) instead.

  1. As a result, they held the name of God in a special and unique reverence in their minds.  They ‘hallowed’ it.  And they understood that dishonoring His name was a sin of the First Order.

They invoked the name of God (not the Special Name but the ordinary name) in oaths and understood that the use of God’s name in this way meant that the violation of such an oath was a sin of the first magnitude, dishonoring Him by dishonoring His name.

            Ex 20:7

            7          Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. KJV

To ‘blaspheme,’ to use the name of God in a curse or to speak disrespectfully of God was considered a sin worthy of nothing less than death by execution, stoning.

            Lev 24:10‑16

            10        And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp;

            11        And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:)

            12        And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them.

            13        And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

            14        Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.

            15        And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.

            16        And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death. KJV

  1. The New Testament Believer is likewise duty bound to honor the Name of God.

                        Phil 2:5‑11

                        5          Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

                        6          Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

                        7          But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

                        8          And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

                        9          Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

                        10        That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

                        11        And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. KJV

                        2 Thess 1:11‑12

                        11        Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

                        12        That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. KJV

The Name, the authority, of Jesus Christ is the highest authority that exists in heaven and in hearth.  Bowing before that authority and honoring it with obedience to His commands glorifies His name.  This is the prayer of the apostle for the saints and the highest duty that they have.

  1. I.                   Hallowing His Name.

These things we have just mentioned describe the opposite of holding the Name of God as ‘Hallowed,’ ‘Reverenced,’ ‘Sanctified.’

  1. Let us look at some instances in which the principle was obeyed.

When David brought the ark to Jerusalem he composed a Psalm and in it gave instructions as to How the Name of God might be treated as Holy, 1 Chron. 16:1-12.  Notice particularly vs. 8-12.

            V.8 –                Give thanks to Him, call upon His Name.

                                    Tell people about His and His wonderful acts of mercy.

            V.9 –                Sing praises to Him for His wonderful works.

            V.10a –            Glory in Him, so meditate upon Him that your heart is thrilled.

            V.10b,11 –       Seek Him continually.

            V.12 – Bring to your memory constantly all that He has done.

David captured the sentiment most completely in Psa. 103:1.

            Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. KJV

To hold the ‘Name’ of God in this way is the mental, spiritual, and emotional equivalent of falling on one’s face before Him as Isaiah, John and others did when God revealed Himself visually to them.

  1. So, what things, what ideas, what principles must be in operation in the mind in order for someone to honestly and from the heart say, “Hallowed by Thy Name”?

  1. Obviously, there must be a deep devotion for Him.  No one is going to have the right kind of respect for the Name of God who does not love the God of the Name.
  2. A profound and intense Respect for God Himself.  His Name represents Him and one who does not respect Him will not respect His Name.  On the flip side, those who disrespect the Name of God have no respect for Him.
  3. The Awareness of Him as The Only Lord of All Creation.  If one thinks of Him as one god among many and all of them equally worthy of respect, he has no idea what it means to “Hallow” the name of the God of Heaven.  Our God is not one among many but the Only True and Living God.  And He is not the same ‘God’ as is worshiped by those who deny His Son.  We remember that when we give due respect to Him.
  4. An awareness of and devotion to His word.  Those who know nothing of the Word of God and have no interest in knowing it are going to have a very hard time convincing God and their own consciences that they have a real respect for Him or in any way hold His Name as Holy.
  5. Some profound sense of the disparity between us and Him.  If He is in heaven and we are on earth, the distance which He must bridge to show us mercy is incredible.  Only those who know something of that can hold the idea of “Hallowedness” in a real way.
  6. A working knowledge of the Might Deeds of God that have been accomplished in order to bring an understanding of truth to our souls.  Particularly, there must be a functioning understanding of what Jesus Christ accomplished in His Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension.
  7. Finally, no one can hold His Name as “Hallowed” who does not have a real and sincere desire to know Him fully both now and forever.

  1. So, how might a person learn to hold sacred the Name of God in prayer?

Read the prayers of the saints recorded in scripture, especially the Psalms.  Read them until you grasp what is being said and from what attitude of heart.  Seek to make that attitude your own.  Take note of how respectfully the saints of old dealt with Him and how concerned they were for His glory and His Name.

            Psalms 8

            1          O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

            2          Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

            3          When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

            4          What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

            5          For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

            6          Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

            7          All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

            8          The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

            9          O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! KJV

            Psalms 9

            1          I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

            2          I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

            3          When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence. KJV

            Ps 18:46‑50

            46        The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

            47        It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.

            48        He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

            49        Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

            50        Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore. KJV

            Psalms 20

            1          The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;

            2          Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;

            3          Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.

            4          Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.

            5          We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions.

            6          Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.

            7          Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. KJV

As a supplement to this, read books written by men of prayer and absorb all that you can from them.

But know that none of this is of any avail unless you actually put yourself to the work of prayer.  Yes, it is work but god will lead you in it to times of blessing that make it all worthwhile.