Monday, November 14, 2022

Hallowed Be Thy Name

Question 101: What do we pray for in the first petition?
Answer: In the first petition, which is, Hallowed be thy name, we pray, that God would enable us, and others, to glorify him in all that whereby he maketh himself known; and that he would dispose all things to his own glory. (WSC)
To be hallowed is to be made or regarded as holy, set apart from what is common. God’s name is holy, and we pray that it would be honored and glorified as such. God’s name refers to his revelation of himself, including the names and titles applied to him in Scripture, and his reputation and fame. This request aims at the way people treat God’s good name and whether he is honored or despised. Rebellious man tears down God’s good name, slanders it, despises it, treats it lightly. But it ought to be reverenced and glorified - esteemed in your heart and publicly praised.

The prophet Malachi condemned the priests of his day for despising God’s name (Malachi 1). How did they despise God’s name? By despising his worship and offering blind and lame sacrifices not even worthy of a human ruler. In response God said that he would make his name great among the nations. He would cause the nations to fear his name, to honor him as a great king, and to offer pure worship fitting for such a king.

Our Father is worthy to be praised. It is right and fitting that we recount in our prayers the reasons why he is worthy of glory and reverence, as many of the Psalms do. We should meditate on his perfect attributes and his mighty works.

Our Father does not yet receive the praise due to him. We are unable of ourselves to glorify him, but are rebellious and seek our own glory and praise. The world ought to glorify God, but much of it despises and distorts his name. Part of our motivation for evangelism is a zeal for the glory that is due God’s name. But this is also a motivation for prayer.

Knowing the depravity of man, we pray that God would enable all his creation to glorify him and join in the worship of heaven. We desire and pray that God would enable ourselves to treat God as holy in our hearts, in our words of praise and witness, in our reception of his word, and in our lives, that they might be lived to the glory of God. Let us pray that God would vindicate his name, uphold his reputation, and bring all men to honor him as the true God. 

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