- Dr. Gil Stieglitz
Secrets of the Lord's Prayer: Hallowed Be Your Name. What Is Jesus Asking Us to Do?
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven,hallowed be your name,” Matthew 6:9
We have come to the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer. It is the first thing that Jesus asks his disciples to interact with God about. Millions of people say this phrase “hallowed be thy name” every day and miss what Jesus is really asking His followers to do. So what is he really asking us to do when he said this?
It is not just to say the phrase “hallowed be thy name.” He is asking us to begin engagement in adoration and holiness exercises that will elevate our thinking of God so that He will occupy the supreme place in our lives that He deserves. Only when we embrace all that God is will we let Him be the God -- the Lord -- in our lives.
Jesus is telling us how to have an intimate relationship with God (in this model prayer) like he does as the Son of Man (a human on this planet). An intimate relationship with God requires that we practice our faith in God through certain spiritual exercises. Jesus lays out those particular exercises that He wants His followers to be regularly engaged with in order to connect with God. Now, let me add that Jesus is coming from the assumption all that God has done and will do through him to make this connection with humans possible (Creation, Incarnation, Propitiation, Resurrection, Redemption, Ascension, and the giving of the Holy Spirit, among a myriad of other actions). But if we as Jesus followers to not participate in the relationship that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have won for us, there will be no relationship (John 3:16; 3:36). This is why Jesus teaches us how to pray -- to engage in a deep interaction.
What is interesting is that “hallowed be thy name” isn’t a petition for God but a petition for us! We are supposed to hallow God’s name. We are not asking God to tell us how wonderful He is. Jesus had just blown the minds of the disciples by telling them to approach their time with God from the point of view as their personal Heavenly Father. This intimate, personal, and emotional relationship could cause His followers to “humanize” God in a way that is inappropriate, so Jesus tells us that after we approach God as our father (because He wants a relationship with us), we are to magnify our understanding of God to the level of His transcendence. We are essentially asking God to help us realize and see His transcendence -- His wonder and magnitude. Jesus tells us to spend some time at the beginning of each prayer exalting God in order to reorient ourselves to Him in this world.
I would love to hear from you and your experience with God your Father. Feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com. Remember, your greatest life is just ahead.
In His service,
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