Reflections on The Lord’s Prayer – “Hallowed be Thy Name”

June 29, 2010 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

What does this mean? It is true that God’s name is holy in itself, but we ask in this prayer that it may also become holy in and among us. How does this come about? Whenever the Word of God is taught clearly and purely and we, as God’s children, live holy lives according to it. To this end help us, dear Father in heaven! However, whoever teaches and lives otherwise than the Word of God teaches profanes the name of God among us. Preserve us from this, heavenly Father!
Luther, Small Catechism

“Oh Lorrrrrrrrrdd, won’t you buy meeeeee a Mer-ce-des Benz?” Janis Joplin crooned this “prayer” as a mockery of the self-centered desires of the rich and presumably as an indictment of their faith. But the sarcastic lyric begs the question: What are we as Christians, supposed to pray about? For the needs of life, for safety, for happiness? For solutions to the problems of the world? When Jesus prayed, for what did he ask the Father?

Jesus taught his disciples “So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear?’” (And presumably not, ‘what shall we drive?’). “But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt 6:31,33)

Jesus teaches us to pray for God’s victory in the world over the powers of sin, death, and the devil before we ask for anything else. The first three ‘petitions’ of the Lord’s Prayer are really three ways to say the same thing: “Let it happen on earth as it does in heaven.” Hallowed be God’s name…on earth as it is in heaven. God’s kingdom come…on earth as it is in heaven. God’s will be done…on earth as it is in heaven.

God’s name is hallowed (or ‘made holy’) whether or not we pray. But we pray that God would work in us and in the world so that we and more and more people might recognize God’s name as holy and treat it as holy. This includes using God’s name in prayer and praise and not as a curse word, but it goes far beyond it as well. We pray that God would reshape our lives so that they might faithfully reflect the love and truth of the God whose name we take upon our lips.

Jesus is the teacher of his prayer, but he is also the fulfillment of his prayer. In his every word and action, he glorified the Father and hallowed his Name (John 12). When we pray in the Spirit to the Father, as adopted brothers and sisters of the Son, we pray for transformation, that we might become more Christ-like, so that God’s name might be hallowed in us more and more each day, as it is in Jesus.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Sermon June 27, 2010 Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer – “Thy Kingdom Come”

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