“After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven.”
We all know these words, but what do they mean?
In this pattern for prayer which the Lord has taught His disciples to pray, we learn that His first priority is for the sanctity of the name of His Father and ours. What does it mean when we say to God our Father that His name be sanctified/hallowed?
I would say that there are two sides to this: one on ours, the other on His. Today we will talk about ours; next week about His. Of course, He is vitally connected with both.
The Lord Yeshua/Jesus connects the sanctity of the Father’s name to His kingdom coming, His will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven. It is true that the Kingdom of God is within the believer, and He (and we) want more people to be saved and have the Kingdom of God within them now. (Lk 17:20-21) It is also true that the will of God is not being done at all times even by believers, certainly not in me. So it is evident that the Father’s will is not yet being done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
What am I – what are you – doing to sanctify our Father in Heaven’s name even now, since it is the top priority to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God? The question might be: How will His name be sanctified/hallowed? Well, one way is for each of us to live and speak in such a way personally that is honoring to Him. The other way is at the corporate, national, and global – even, I would say, universal – levels, which only the Sovereign God Himself can accomplish. We will speak more about that in Part Two.
Heb 2:11; 12:7-11; Jn 17:13-23 ; 1Thes 5:23-24 The Holy Spirit sanctifies us who believe, and we are to sanctify ourselves to honor the name of our Father and of our Lord and Savior. It is a cooperative effort. God call us to be holy for He is holy. When we believe the truth – i.e., what GOD says about anything – we are set free for the Master’s use, and are able to be in a more intimate relationship with our Father, who loves us with an everlasting love. Truth sanctifies us when we live in the freedom for which the truth set us free.
Yeshua is the Truth; the Father’s Word is Truth. Once we know and believe this, there is so much more truth of the Truth for us to know and believe from the God of Truth. We have the privilege and the honor and the responsibility to sanctify the name of our Father in Heaven by the choices we make at any time or situation. His name IS holy, and we want both ourselves and others to know that, and give Him the honor and glory that is His. When we do that, there will be much joy in the Holy Spirit: the Kingdom of God is within us.
When those who believe in Jesus love one another as He has loved us, there will be a unity of the Body of Christ which will demonstrate the truth of who Jesus is, whom the Father sent, and also be a testimony of the love of the Father for us. We love Him, for He first loved us. His name will be sanctified in our own hearts, and in the sight and hearing of others.
Ex 20: 7, 12 The Hebrew uses the word meaning “to carry, or lift”; in other words, it is not saying, as Judaism says, not to mention His holy name, but rather, not to in any way live or speak in such a way that dishonors/disrespects His name. YHVH’s name is upon His people Israel; Messiah’s/Christ’s name is identified with us. (Num 6:24-27; Acts 11:26) We are identified by our name, and a good name is worth more than great wealth. (Prov 22:1) Our God’s name is holy. (Is 57:15; Lk 1:46-51) It is certainly taking His name in vain by saying that He doesn’t even exist, or that He is not the Creator of the heavens and the Earth and the seas, and all that is in them! Or, by saying that we cannot speak His name at all — because it is too holy!! When we know someone well, we call them by their name. Our Father in Heaven knows each of us by name.
Children of all ages are commanded to honor their mother and father; and God promises long life in the promised inheritance to those who do. Our reputation reflects back upon the names of our parents. Their reputation affects how others think and relate to us. We are known by our behavior, by the way we talk, by our manner of relating to others, by whether we respect older people and those in authority, by our acceptance and compassion towards the poor, the needy, the weak. A good name is worth more than great wealth.
The name of our earthly parents, and the name of our Father in Heaven is honored, is sanctified, when we consciously live with the understanding that we represent more than only ourselves, but that the reputation of those who have given us life (including life opportunities) is at stake. Do we love and respect them enough – even more than ourselves — to care what others think about them?! Do we love God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ so that our lives sanctify their names? I prove this by loving others as God loves me. The Kingdom of God is within me, with the power of the Holy Spirit to live in the way that pleases Him.
When someone meets me for the first time, or when I travel — whether for tourism/vacation, or for ministry — as an American, am I an “ugly American”, or do I bring respect to my former home and countrymen? As an Israeli, am I an “unruly Israeli”, or do I bring respect to my home and country and fellow Israelis? As a Jew, or as a Christian, …?
2Sam 12:13-14; Is 48:9-11; Ezek 20:12-14; 36:16-21 David’s grievous sin with Batsheva (to which he added another grievous sin) gave a great occasion to the enemies of YHVH to blaspheme, even though God transferred David’s sin [to Himself]. David was the chosen man of YHVH God, who had a heart after His, who would be King of all Israel, and through whom in the flesh would come the Messiah. God is accused of being “easy” on David, but too harsh on King Saul. The same with Israel’s sins among the Gentiles. Our sins are never private or “my own business”! They affect others, and bring reproach to the name of our Father and Savior, to our families, to ourselves. Unbelievers will think and speak inappropriately about the name of our God when our sin is “found out”. (Num 32:23) Our sins give a bad name to our family, and when others know that we believe in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, our sins give Him the wrong impression of His holiness and righteousness and love and truth. By obeying the Lord with faith because we love Him, we sanctify His name. By grace we are saved, not deserving it, and we have so much to be thankful to him for.
YHVH God says that the very fact of His chosen people — called and chosen to be a holy people — living in exile among the Gentiles, and sinning along with them, brings reproach to His holy name. (Rom 2:17-24) Especially when those Jewish people prefer to live there, and not in the covenant land of promise which He has chosen and promised to give them for an everlasting inheritance and possession. It is to be unbelieving and unthankful for the gift He has selected for His “first born son”, for reasons which He fully understands. (Ex 4:22-23) I am not saying that every Jew must live in Israel now, but that our hearts need to identify with Israel as the home of the Jewish people. So, for Jews to choose or to agree to live in Israel, and to remain, is a way to sanctify our Father’s name.
1Pt 3:15-17 Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. We want a clean conscience before God and men. The Apostle Peter writes that even when we suffer, we are to demonstrate the hope that we have with meekness and fear towards those who are the source of our suffering and pain. Love is a matter of the heart, and to be concerned that God our Father’s name is honored within His own household of faith, and among those who are outside is an issue of the heart. (Prov 4:20-27) How important is the sanctity of our God’s name to you? To Jesus, it is His top priority. It needs to become ours.
Mt 5:14-16 We are the light of the world…. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. When we do good works, unless those who “see” them know that we are believers, they will not glorify our heavenly Father. They need to “hear” us say that we are doing the good works because of Jesus, and then the glory goes through Him to the Father. Otherwise, the “good name” stops with me — or with our congregation or ministry or organization — and is not passed on to Him who sent us. We want to sanctify His name more than ours. (Mk 9:38-39; Jn 10:31-38; 1Pt 4:12-17; Jn 12:42-43) We should desire His praise more than the praise of men.
Rev 22:20-21; 1Jn 3:1-3 “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” When the Lord Jesus Christ comes again, then will all know the sanctity of the Father’s name; His Kingdom will be established; His will will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. This hope and prayer will impact our lives to hallow the name of our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. We will not have a party the night before, but will sanctify ourselves for our pure and holy Bridegroom.
The name of our Father, and of His Son Yeshua/Jesus, are not hallowed by most of the people among whom we live, whatever their race, nationality, or religion. It is for us to sanctify His name before them, that they might repent and believe the gospel, and receive the spirit of adoption to call God “Abba”.
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, May 26, 2022, and reposted with permission.