“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name…”
Most Christians have said this hundreds of times, if not thousands, but how many of us actually know what it means? The Greek word is “hagiazo” from “hagios”, and it means to treat something as holy, dedicated, consecrated, set apart, sanctified. When we pray this we are acknowledging God’s holiness…His singular position as the King of Everything. In common terms we might say, “May your name be held in holy reverence.” Hallowed is serious business.
So, how are we doing when it comes to “hallowing” God? If our family, friends, co-workers and neighbors were to form an opinion of God by observing our lives this week, would they say that we are “hallowing” Him? Do we hold Him in high esteem? Is He pre-eminent in our thoughts, words and actions? Do we accurately reflect His image?
Ray Stedman comments, “…this is the petition that makes hypocrites out of most of us. For we can say “Father” with grateful sincerity, but when we pray ‘Hallowed be thy name,’ we say this with the guilty knowledge that, as we pray, there are areas of our life in which His Name is not hallowed and in which, furthermore, we don’t want it to be hallowed. When we say ‘Hallowed by thy name,’ we are praying:
‘May the whole of my life be a source of delight to you and may it be an honor to the name which I bear, which is your name. Hallowed be your name.’ ”
WOW! This is a pretty tall order, isn’t it? Thank God we have the Holy Spirit within us to guide us into the truth of God’s Word as well as the truth of what is in our hearts. This is why confession and repentance is so important: it allows us to stay close and clean so that in our lives, His name will be “hallowed”.