Matt. 6:9-13


“This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’"


    Yes, that word is "hallowed."  I know . . . it's not a word I use every day either!  When I see it, it reminds me of the title to the final Harry Potter book.  Some modern translations simplify the wording of vs. 9 a little bit by saying: ". . . may your name be kept holy," which is pretty good.  Jesus included it in this model prayer because it is important and helpful for us to acknowledge the holiness of our heavenly Father.  It is the same acknowledgment the angels make over and over when they say: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty."  (Take a look at Rev. 4:8 and Isa. 6:2-3).


    Rev. 15:4 says: "Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy."  From this verse we learn that God is to be feared (reverenced and respected) and glorified because He is the Holy One. But what does it mean to be "holy"?  The word actually has two distinct meanings in Scripture: first it means to be "set apart;" and second it means to be "pure and uncorrupted."  In either case, it is easy to see that only God is truly holy.  He is uniquely set apart because He alone is God, there is no other; He is distinct from everything He has made and He transcends His creation in every possible way.  We become holy only when we have been set apart by Him for His divine purpose.  And as for purity, He is perfect in all His ways, He is just and true, and in Him there is no sin, no darkness, no corruption at all.  We become pure and uncorrupted only when we put on the Lord Jesus Christ and reflect His purity and integrity.  Our heavenly Father is holy and the source of all holiness.


    But the prayer specifically mentions the Lord's name.  We are to declare or acknowledge that God's name is holy.  God, of course, revealed His own name to Moses.  He said: "I AM WHO I AM" -- Ex. 3:14. This phrase is an expansion of the name Yahweh, (LORD - all capitals - in your English Bibles) which was commonly known in Moses' day.  You may be surprised to know that LORD / Yahweh occurs in the Bible 152 times prior to Ex. 3:14. 


    Through His name, God reveals several things about Himself: 

·         He is a God who is; He is not an abstraction or a myth or a vague hope, He says, I AM. 

·         He is an unchanging personal God, a God with character and purpose and power; a God who speaks, a God who deals with Moses directly and says I AM WHO I AM. 

·         Through His name God reveals His eternal and omnipresent nature; to all people of all time everywhere His name remains I AM. 


His is a unique name for a singular being who is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God of Moses and David and John and Paul; and our God and the God of our children and our children's children.  And so we say: "Our heavenly Father, your name is holy!”


--- Pastor Keith Andrews