The first petition of the model prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray was “hallowed be your Name”. We are instructed to pray that God would act in such a way that his name would be recognized, revered, valued, and celebrated by Peoples throughout the whole world.
As the Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English expresses it:
In the first request (“hallowed be your name”) we pray that God will enable us and others to glorify Him in everything He uses to make Himself known and that He will work out everything to His own glory.
The Heidelberg Catechism, from the Dutch tradition, is a bit more elaborative:
“Hallowed be your name” means: Help us to truly know you, 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. 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.
Only recently, as I was preparing for a series of messages from the Lord’s Prayer, did I notice that in Psalm 8 King David provides a wonderful example of what it looks like to have the hallowing of God’s name as a heartfelt passion and priority. Notably we see through Psalm 8 several aspects of David that are essential characteristics of anyone who hallows God’s name:
- An awareness of how unfathomably awesome Our Father in Heaven truly is;
- An appreciation for the transcendent beauty of all of God’s Creation;
- A personal humility rooted in an awareness of his own nature, especially in comparison with the incomparable holiness of God;
- An awareness that his hope and significance come only from God;
- A thankfulness for God’s gracious promises and provision;
- A consequential desire that God’s name be glorified throughout the earth.
“O Lord, Our Lord, How majestic is you name in all the earth!“