John A. Braun
I think the only time I use the word hallowed might be when I say the Lord’s Prayer. It’s not that I don’t understand what it means. It’s just a word that doesn’t come up in conversation—with one exception. It is an important part of my conversation with my heavenly Father.
So I often use hallowed when I pray, “Our Father, hallowed be your name.” I ask for God’s name to be honored, appreciated, or set apart for special reverence. Of course, we cannot make it any more special or holy than it already is. His name is forever connected to what he has done for us. That God has sent his Son to redeem sinners is a glorious and profound truth. God has given us forgiveness, life, and salvation through Christ. What greater reason to treat his name with respect and honor.
Jesus invited believers to pray that his Father’s glorious work of saving us be honored and revered among us. “Hallowed be your name.” When we come together, we need to hear the gospel, the news of God’s gracious work for us. We know the gospel is the power of God (Romans 1:16). It is vital for our spiritual life and our eternal future. We honor God by proclaiming what he has done.
To proclaim something different from the gospel of Christ dishonors our heavenly Father. It diminishes him. John reminds us that when we say something contrary to God’s Word we make God a liar (1 John 5:10). When our works, our thoughts, and our efforts take center stage, we move God to a secondary role as a supporting actor instead of the main attraction. His name is not hallowed.
So we pray that God our heavenly Father would keep our attention on the main thing: Christ. Our regular prayer is necessary because of the temptations we encounter almost every day. In our world, God’s name is used for almost everything but proclaiming Christ crucified. Even in churches the message is distorted and altered to create a kind of Christianity of feeling good without Christ.
With my fellow believers, I ask that the Lord’s name be revered, honored, and held in a special place among us as God’s children. After all, he has placed his name on us. We are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That name along with the water has washed our sins away and made us children of God. We are clothed with Christ’s perfect life so that all blemishes and faults are covered. And we have become his children, destined to inherit all our Father’s rich blessings.
What troubles me is when God’s children bring dishonor to the Lord Jesus. When I hear that Christians have stumbled into great public sin, my heart sinks. I know sin still lives within us. So when I pray, “Hallowed be your name,” I’m asking God to strengthen both me and my fellow believers so that we do not disgrace our heavenly Father by our behavior.
In a positive way, we pray that God would strengthen and direct us all so that we show more kindness, patience, gentleness, love, joy, and peace as we deal with each other. Those qualities are important in his church. They are also important in our dealings with those who do not know Jesus yet. We ask the Lord to help us honor him in every situation of life. When we are insulted, when the world speaks well of us, when we suffer, when we rejoice and are happy, we pray, “Hallowed be your name, heavenly Father.”
John Braun is executive editor of the Forward in Christ magazine.
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Author: John A. Braun
Volume 104, Number 8
Issue: August 2017
Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2017
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