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Taking God Seriously (4 of 10)
The Lord's Prayer
August 19, 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 are looking again at 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.
I proposed in the beginning of our study that the Old Testament Malachi provides a good commentary on the meaning of this petition. At the end of the Old Testament, Malachi took the people of God to task for not "hallowing God's Name." In fact, this concern for God's name is a central theme that runs throughout the book. Consider all the places where this concept surfaces in the book:
(Mal 1:6 NIV) "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. "But you ask, 'How have we shown contempt for your name?' . . . (Mal 1:11 NIV) My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty. . . . (Mal 1:14 NIV) "Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king," says the LORD Almighty, "and my name is to be feared among the nations. . . . (Mal 2:2 NIV) If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name," says the LORD Almighty, "I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to hono ...
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