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Honoring God's Name (3 of 10)
The Lord's Prayer
July 22, 2001
Introduction: We are in the midst of a study of the Lord's Prayer and the principles that we can learn about our praying from the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to pray. Tonight we turn our attention to the very first petition of the prayer—"Hallowed be thy name." It is significant that the very first thing we are told to pray about is God's name. At the top of our prayer list stands a concern for the name and glory of God.
First, consider some basics. Throughout Scripture names were always important. Names often stood for the character of the one they represented. When a person's life changed direction, often they received a new name. Cf. Abraham, Jacob. In this context, "the name of God" means more than the proper name or label for God. A person's name, especially that of a king or ruler, stood for the authority of that person. This is same notion in the Great Commission when Jesus tells his disciples to baptize new disciples "in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." The term name stands for more than just a word. Behind it lies all the honor, glory, and dominion of God.
God's personal name, as we learned in our last studies, is YHWH, Yahweh, or Jehovah. At the burning bush, the LORD identified himself as the "I AM," the self-existing one, the one not dependent on anyone or anything else (Exodus 3). He is not just any old god. He is different and distinct from the imaginary gods of the nations. He wants those who pray to him to know him personally and individually. He is a God who identifies himself in terms of those who rely upon him. He is the "God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."
The term "hallowed" means to make holy, or unique, or special. It is related to other biblical terms such as holiness, saints, sanctification, or sanctuary. Each carries the idea of something that is given special treat ...
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