After the salutation that states who God is and where He resides, the first phrase in the model prayer refers to God’s name and how sacred it is. This phrase is usually translated “hallowed be Thy name” but there are a few other translations. Here are a couple that are easier to understand:
“. . . we honor your holy name.” – Matthew 6:9 (TLB)
“. . . may your name be kept holy. – Matthew 6:9 (NLT)
This phrase is not a request for anything. Instead it’s a positive, affirming statement that tells God we understand how holy He is and, therefore, how sacred His name is — and how important it is for us to maintain our reverence for His name.
A long time before this model prayer is given, God let people know how serious He takes this issue. Misusing God’s name is number three on His list of ten commandments in Exodus 20. I’ve most often heard this as a commandment against swearing by God’s name to support a false statement or just using His name profanely.
But I believe there’s also another way we need to honor His name and keep it holy. And that is by the way we live our lives.
As believers, we are known by His name. We are known as Christians (‘little Christs’) or God Followers or Jesus Freaks or any other number of brands we’re given–or have given ourselves.
So how we live our lives reflects on God’s name.
My pastor said something in Sunday’s service that I loved! We were praying for the first responders, elected officials and school teachers who were in our services. He asked God to remind them every day that they are sons and daughters of The Most High God and because of that, they need to ‘walk with a royal gait.’
Walk with a royal gait. I love that. He wasn’t talking about being arrogant. He was talking about walking with honor and dignity and grace and mercy! I believe that is part of keeping God’s name holy–remembering who WE are because of the relationship we have with The Most High God.
And knowing who we are will change the way we live our lives.
And that will help pre-believers see God’s love up close and personal.
What do I need to change about the way I use God’s name?
How well does my life honor my Heavenly Father’s name?