Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
“Hallowed be Thy name”
The child of God in Christ Jesus can come boldly to the throne of the Heavenly Father in prayer.
While Christians pray for one another, they do not pray through one another. We already have an advocate, an intercessor, and an intermediary in the person of Jesus Christ.
Further, a prayer of faith in the name of Jesus is just as meaningful and effective spoken by the person in the pew as it is spoken by a pastor or a priest. It is not repetitious words or flowery speech that makes a prayer acceptable to the Father. The Spirit of God interprets even our groans before the Father. It is the prayer of faith which the Father hears. “Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you” are Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew 21.
In the Lord’s Prayer the child of God first petitions the Father, “Hallowed be Thy name.”
To hallow means to consecrate, hold as sacred, to keep as holy. Martin Luther captured the essence of this prayer when he wrote: “God’s name is indeed holy in itself; but we pray in this petition that it may be holy among us also.” In other words, we are praying that God’s name–holy in itself–will remain so among us. How? Luther continued: “God’s name is hallowed when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as the children of God, also lead a holy life according to it. . . . But he that teaches and lives otherwise than God’s Word teaches, profanes (makes unholy) the name of God among us.”
Sinful man cannot diminish the glory of the holy God. God is who He is and He is what He is. But sinful man can rob himself of the blessings of the holy God by speaking for doctrines the meanderings of his own heart. False teaching is anything that is contrary to God’s Word. Hardly does it consecrate the name of God among us to make God a liar or to twist His Word, which is the means by which He makes Himself known to us.
But to speak the Word of God faithfully and then to live a life contrary to what one professes is also disrespectful of the holiness of God and shows a lack of appreciation for the blessings which He gives. It is quite simple to say “I love God.” But Scripture itself defines meaningful love of God. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). We hallow the name of God when we walk in His way.
The practical application finds its significance in these words: “Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27). Blessings flow to those who hallow the name of God.
Children of the Father through faith in Jesus still have their flesh in this life. Therefore a child of God will pray daily for forgiveness on the one hand, and for strength to confess the Word and build on it on the other. We will still pray from the heart: “Hallowed be Thy name.”
–Pastor Daniel Fleischer
THE FIRST PETITION Hallowed be Thy name. What does this mean? God's name is indeed holy in itself; but we pray in this petition that it may be holy among us also. How is this done? When the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as the children of God, also lead a holy life according to it. This grant us, dear Father in heaven. But he that teaches and lives otherwise than God's Word teaches, profanes the name of God among us. From this preserve us, Heavenly Father. --DR. MARTIN LUTHER'S Small Catechism Concordia Publishing House, 1943 The First Petition "Hallowed be Thy name." What does this mean? God's name is certainly holy all by itself, but we pray in this petition that we also keep it holy. How is God's name kept holy? God's name is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we as children of God also live a holy life according to it. Help us do this, dear heavenly Father. But whoever teaches and lives contrary to the Word of God dishonors God's name among us. Keep us from doing this, heavenly Father. --MARTIN LUTHER'S SMALL CATECHISM by Pastor Mike Sydow, 1988