1160 West Georgia Street Vancouver, BC, V6E 3H7
Hallowed Be Your Name
“Our Father…who art in heaven…hallowed be your Name…”
Ask any baby boomer or generation Xer who grew up in Canada if they know The Lord’s Prayer and you will likely hear them instantly recite every line of it word for word. We were the last generation to have experienced The Lord’s Prayer prayed out every morning by all students in our public schools. Each day before class started, our teacher would have the entire class stand at our desks, bow our heads in prayer, close our eyes and pray those words.
While I’m thankful to have these words etched in my memory, as a child I could not have understood the depth and the power of this prayer pattern that Jesus was teaching us. The first two lines alone contain more treasure than one blog could handle but let’s accept the challenge and explore the beginning of this prayer together, particularly the power of God’s name.
“Our Father in heaven…”
This is insight into our own identity and where we came from. The God of the universe has revealed himself to be our Father. If true, then knowing this becomes life-altering. This means we are his family and we can come to him as children come to their parents. Our earthly parents may not always be available and likely will not be with us our entire lives, but our Heavenly Father will always be there – welcoming us to come to him.
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. Psalm 27:10 NLT
“Hallowed be Your Name…”
For most of us this is not everyday English but to hallow someone is to highly respect and revere them – to recognize the honor of being in their presence. Coming to our Father begins with giving him honor and recognizing his holiness. I’ll often start my personal prayer times at home intentionally honoring and worshipping him. I’ll find worship songs to help me draw closer and express love and affection. During this time, I’ll often reflect on some of his names and what they mean for us.
Reflecting on His Names…
The most common name for God in the Old Testament is YHWH. As the Hebrew language didn’t use vowels, we translated it in English to Yahweh or Jehovah. It comes from a root word meaning “to exist” or “to be”. In this name God revealed to us that he exists and is very real, even if we can’t see him.
Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 CSB
Over time, God began to reveal more of himself to us in his names. Here are just a few of these names:
- Jehovah Rapha – The Lord our Healer
- Jehovah Jireh – The Lord our Provider
- Jehovah Rohi – The Lord our Shepherd
- Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord our Righteousness
- Jehovah M’Kaddesh – The Lord our Sanctifier
- Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is Present
- Jehovah Shalom – The Lord our Peace
- Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is our Banner
As part of this step of hallowing and honoring the names of God, you can pray these names out loud and remind yourself who God is. Be encouraged to study the origin stories behind some of these names and watch your image of God expand. As you dig deeper and explore, you’ll discover there are approximately 955 names and titles for God in the Bible all giving us a picture of his nature and character.¹
The All-Encompassing Name…
Is it possible there could even be a name for God that encompasses all these other names?
2000 years ago, God sent his son to earth and he was given the name Jesus, which means “Jehovah our Salvation”. During his time on earth, and through his death and resurrection, Jesus gave us the full and complete picture of who God is and he made the way for us have a relationship again with our Heavenly Father.
He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11 CSB
Jesus, the most hallowed name ever. Hallowed be your name.