Hallowed Be Your Name

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Hallowed be your name (Matthew 6:9b).
Do you pray what is commonly referred to, variously, as The Lord’s Prayer and The Disciple’s Prayer?
I hope you do. This is a model for effectual, fervent prayer that the Lord Himself gave to His disciples, and so to us. It is a framework of the most simple, yet powerful and moving words contained in Scripture. On this framework, the very beginning of it takes us into the throne room of our heavenly Father, which we who have been chosen in Christ, due to no merits of our own, but all merit of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, are not only allowed, but enabled, to enter (Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:19-23).
The very beginning of this prayer evokes the reality that there are none good but God, for the sense of the word translated Hallowed be is of a structure that shows us, in the original language, it is God Himself who hallows, or sets apart as holy, His name, which is to say all those attributes of Himself which we are taught of by His Spirit in His holy Scriptures. His majesty –  His power, wisdom, holiness, justice, mercy, and truth – with His righteousness, hatred of sin, undeserved love to sinners with whom He is well pleased because of His work in His Son, and His Son’s work on our behalf, all redound to His glory, and this is something that He ever-presently IS, not something which we bring about by virtue of our actions and prayers.
This is the first thing we must learn from this prayer (or some would say the second thing, since we have not touched much upon the first portion of this particular petition): God Himself sets His name apart as holy among all His creation; by His power, He magnifies His name upon this earth, in the heavens, and whatsoever else there is which He created.
Therefore, we must not think that our prayers or actions add anything to that holiness which God, our Father in heaven, infinitely and perfectly is – beis added to our English translations to give us some sense of the meaning of our God’s character as described in the verb for hallowed, for the English language breaks down at this point without a verb of being used to express the timeless holy perfection which our God alone is.
So, before this is  a petition, it is a statement of fact: God is Holy, because all of His attributes define and exemplify this overarching characteristic which, in turn, gives each of His attributes their definition. As to His being, God is forever, timelessly holy, in each and every part of that indivisible substance which He alone is.
This is the most blessed of truths, for in it is the germ of how we must view ourselves in relation to God: God is holy; we are not, and no matter the number of our prayers or works, we will not be holy as God is holy. This is the most humbling of truths, for in it we have that understanding of our impoverished selves, which can only be realized once we are regenerated by our God (John 1:12-13; cf. Matthew 5:3).
In view of this, we must remember that our Lord commanded His disciples (and so us), to pray in this manner, and we must ask ourselves how such can be done, and look to the Scripture for the answers to this command.
As a statement of fact, as we said, this speaks of all that God has always been and will always be; however, if we stop here, we do not realize that He uses those He has called as the primary expression of His character on earth.
How humbling is that?
God uses those He has implanted His seed of holiness within, without removing the corrupt bodies they yet dwell in, to express His everlasting incorruption. Perfection is articulated by imperfection in those He has given to His Son – those His Son redeemed to be …“a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” … “since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God(1 Peter 2:9, 1:23).”
We know that spiritually, we have died with Christ, and risen in newness of life with Him; yet God leaves us in this corrupt flesh (whether the dual nature some expound, or an attenuated corruption that is not truly alive, but yet exercises power when we are not actively seeking God for that holy power unto holy living, we will leave others to expound upon), and we must count this as part of that goodness He is, that we are so humbled, knowing it is all of Him that we are able to even desire to seek that which is also of Him (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
This is the petition part of the statement of fact: “God, you command us to mature in you towards that perfection which you alone are; to be holy, as you are holy, and to walk in a manner that is meet and fit with the calling to which you have called us, in order that we may expound the excellencies of You who called us out of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of Your love; into the light of He who is the Light of the World, begotten of You, Father of Lights.
Put simply, the Scripture is replete with commands for us to live in a manner that shines the light of our Lord to an extent that shows forth the glory of God, but this responsibility is not left in our incapable hands; we must realize it in our Lord Jesus Christ, for all that we do without this experiential understanding is nothing (John 15:1-9; 2 Corinthians 4:5-7).
So, I do hope you pray that which is the model prayer to the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that you realize that it is filled with, and filled out, with all of His excellencies, by His power, to proclaim and shine forth that which we would not be able to do in the least, but that we realize that the excellency and surpassing greatness of the power is of God, and not of us, that no flesh should glory in His presence.

About lalvin1517

I'm married with two children and pastor McCall Baptist Church in McCall, Idaho.
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