Hallowed be Your Name
The word hallow means to sanctify or to revere. To regard as pure, consecrated, venerated. It is the Jewish practice to omit the name of God in oral speech, so as not to take His name in vain (and so to obey the 3rd commandment, in Exodus 20:7) or without the respect that it is due. Although I believe that we are allowed to pronounce the name Yahweh, or Jehovah, we must always remember that it is the name of God, and so we must treat it, and Him with the utmost Honor and Glory, for He is Holy.
In Biblical times, it was expected that a name said a lot about a person (e.g. Isaac; Joshua–Yeshua—Jesus= “The Lord Saves”).
The first name by which God is introduced to us in the Bible is ‘El ‘ Elyon, which means God Most High, the Exalted God. And the first place that we see this is in Genesis 1:1, In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. God emphasizes His Majesty and Glory, His Might and His Dominion, and His Power first. He is called both the King of Glory in Psalm 24:7-20, and the Father of Glory in Ephesians 1:17. He makes sure that we understand this first, so that we will approach Him in the proper way—with humility, and a contrite spirit. The right heart-attitude gives God someone He can work with. So, Jesus is teaching us to start out our prayers with adoration and thanksgiving to God for who He is.
When God revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush, He said I AM THAT I AM, the all-becoming one. The One who is whatever is needed. The One who’s name was considered too sacred to be spoken aloud. And, in the Old Testament, God continually links His name with His covenant, but it was a progressive revelation. In Exodus 6:2-3 God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord; 3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but by My name, Lord, I did not make Myself known to them. He made Himself more and more known throughout the Old Testament, and of course He was fully revealed to us in His Son, Christ Jesus. As God wanted to emphasize parts of His character in different situations throughout the Old Testament, He linked His personal name with 8 specific titles. And looking at them from our point of view, as New Testament believers, we find that His names point to His plan of redemption and His provision for His people.
The first of these names has to do with Christ’s substitutionary atonement for our sins. Jehovah-tsidkenu means Jehovah our righteousness. It points to the fact that when Jesus was substituted for us on the cross, paying the sin-debt that we owed, we received His righteousness, (1 Cor 5:21; Romans 5:17-19). We as Christians understand the full meaning that Jesus provided a way for us to put on His righteousness as He took away our sins (1 John 1:9).
God is Holy, and He sets us apart to make us holy. He is called Jehovah-m’kaddesh (the Lord who Sanctifies) (Lev 20:8) A New Testament believers, the Holy Spirit indwells us to enable and empower us to live holy lives, to be pure. (1 Cor 6:9-11). Cooperating with this sanctification from God is the duty of a Christian, and we will be held accountable if we reject it, and try to go our own way (1 Thess 4:3-4). Because of what Jesus has done for us, we can be sanctified. Hebrews 13:12 12 Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the gate, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood.
And it is only through knowing this grace of God that we can know the peace of God. God is peace. Jehovah-Shalom (Judges 6:23-24). We can experience the Peace of God because of what Jesus has done. We started out life as sinners, at war with God from the day we were born, until the day we accepted God’s offer of peace with us through Jesus’ atoning death on the cross. We are now atoned for, at one with God. There is a fellowship between God and us on the basis of what Jesus has done. (Colossians 1:20-22). 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in [ad]heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And although you were previously alienated and hostile in attitude, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His body of flesh through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— Jesus made peace with God for us. We see that Jesus broke down the sin-barrier of separation between God and us, creating a way into God’s presence for us. The best picture of this is in what happened to the veil of separation between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies ( Matthew 27:51). See Hebrews 10:19-22. There was no way to have peace with God, because of Man’s sin. So God made a way through the sacrifice of His sinless son.
And because we have peace with God, we can have fellowship together. Indeed, God the Holy Spirit can dwell with us and in us. Jehovah Shemmah—God is There. The overflowing, ever-present One is with us as believers. The Old Testament believers had to point to the Tabernacle of God, the tent meeting place, and say “God is There”. But we, as believers can point to our spirit within us, and say God is there, dwelling within us, with our spirit (Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:5).
Glorified among Men
Jesus is teaching us to pray that the name of God would be revered by all, everyone, the whole world. It is an expression of deep desire for the honor and glory of God. We see this passion that Jesus has to glorify God throughout the gospels( see John 17:4-5) And this is a pattern that we are to follow: If we want God to be glorified on earth, then we must accomplish the work that God has prepared for us to do before the foundation of the world—walk the path that He has laid out for our lives. THEN, He will be glorified among men. And look how God is revealed through His name (John 17:6) A true understanding of God as He has revealed Himself to be by His Name causes us to want to follow Him and love Him and obey His will for our lives.
Jesus is always concerned that God is glorified: John 7:18 The one who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. As God’s servants, we are to seek God’s glory, not our own. We are bought with a price, bond-servants, and we are to serve Him and His interests. Jesus knew the true glory of God. He’d seen it. He’d shared it. It’s what He gave up to come to earth to save us. And His great desire is that all mankind would come to know the Glory of God, and give Him the honor and reverence He is due. We should join with David the Psalmist in delighting in and celebrating God: Psalm 34:1-3 34 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice. 3 Exalt the Lord with me, And let’s exalt His name together.
Glorify Him in Our Lives
This is the way we should feel about God; wanting to worship, even when saying His Name, and this is what Jesus is calling us to, by having us pray “hallowed Be Your Name”. Notice that the Lord’s Prayer begins and ends with praise! If we are to Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courtyards with praise as it tells us in Psalm 100:4, then that means that when we deliberately set aside time to come into His presence in prayer, we begin with thanks, praise and adoration.
We Glorify Him in our Church
When we look at the Psalms, we should realize that we’re looking at the songbook, the hymnal of ancient Israel. These are the songs that they would praise the Lord with when they gathered together. And they are filled with praise: Psalm 105 1-5 is not just a call to personal worship, but to worship Him together as His People. Psalm 22:3 Yet You are holy, You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. Let Him inhabit, be enthroned in our praises as a church.