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The First Petition
“Hallowed be Thy name”
We have discussed in the introduction of the Lord’s Prayer and preface, “this, then, is how you should pray” and “Our Father who are in heaven” of it. The Lord’s Prayer, except the preface, can be divided in to three parts; to which we pray; petitions; and conclusion. The petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, that is the prototype of prayers and the prayer of prayers, total seven and the first one is “hollowed be Thy name.” These petitions generally can be divided in two and these two contain three factors. The first three petitions are Thou-Petitions that related to God. The second three petitions are We-Petitions that related to our daily lives and needs.
The first petition, “hollowed be Thy name” in Matthew 6:9, the Greek words are ( hagiashe tow onoma sou) the Latin words are “Sancitificetur nomen tuum” which means sanctified be Thy name. John Calvin translated this phrase as “may Thy name be sanctified.”
Understanding of the name of God
I would like to discuss the relationships between the name of God and his existence.
First, Limited Understanding
It is the theory claimed that God is limited by his name. That is, God is wherever his name is. This means that his name is real and by calling his name we draw his presence. However, this could be a problem because there is a possibility to call God to be present like other superstitious and pagan religions do.
Second, Nominal Understanding According this view, God’s name is not necessarily related to his existence. God’s name is only a reaction of his revelation to men. It is not even God’s name, but a form of men’s ideal structure toward his revelation. That is, God revealed himself to men’s understanding of words. So the name is only a name. However, this view can be a problem and is not right. The Scriptures clearly says, “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” in Exodus 20:7. This verse tells us that the name of God is related to his existence.
Third, Coexistence Understanding
Even though there is no relationship between God’s name and existence, where God’s name is existence. It can be known as the individual coexistence theory. The name is not the existence. God could either exist where his name is or not. According to this view, even if we take the name of God in vain, there will not be any problem with the presence of God. However, the Scripture clearly says that “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” in Exodus 20:7. Exodus 3:14 sys that, “I AM WHO I AM.”
In conclusion, men’s theory and understanding cannot does not influence the presence of God. Some of men’s theories and understanding are evil and they are building the tower of Babel. They are men’s pride and sin. They are harmful for men.
What do the names of God mean?
In the Old Testament, God made Himself known to the believers through his name. The name of God presents to us everything that God revealed us. First, at the beginning of Genesis, the Creator, God was revealed as “Elohim.”
1) “El” is a simple name that indicates God. It could describe the authority and dignity of God. God is the God of gods who rules over the universe. He is Almighty. This word was used to describe the dignity and authority of God along with other words.
2) “Elohim;” strong and powerful. God teaches us that he is the only one to be worshipped. It indicates that He is the Creator of the world, the Ruler of the world. God used this word when he described himself as the Creator, Almighty, Authority. So people called him the Almighty.
3) “El-Elyon;” means the Most High God (Ps. 9:2, Num. 24:16, Isa. 14:14). There is no god to compare to God. He is the only one all human beings should worship.
4) “El-Shadai;” Exodus 6:3 says, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.” God is the foundation of provision and blessings for his peoples’ needs.
5) “El-Olam;” In Genesis 21:33 said, “Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.” God has no beginning and no end. He is eternal.
These names in the Old Testament, enrich the Lord’s Prayer, “hallowed be Thy name.” When we pray the Lord’s Prayer that the Lord taught, “Hollowed be Thy name,” it causes us to make a decision to live in a way that God requires us to live. The God of “El” or “Elohim” wants us to live a powerful, victorious life over sins and a creative life through his creation, power and authority. The God of El-Elyon wants us to worship him and him only. He also wants us to worship him in spirit and truth (when we say, “Thy name). The God of El-Shadai wants us to live in hope that he who is the foundation of all blessings will take care of our needs and protect us from troubles. The God of El-Olam wants us to live in hope that he will lead us into eternal life in Jesus Christ.
Second, the most frequent word in the Old Testament, “Jehovah.” It was used either simultaneously or interchangeably with the word God. The word, “Jehovah” as God present what God revealed. I like Psalm 23 very much because Jehovah meets with me in my practical life through his name. David described the compound Jehovah title in Psalm 23. “Jehovah-Raah;” means that Jehovah is my Shepherd. Psalm 23:1 says, “The Lord is my Shepherd. The Lord is our shepherd in our daily lives. The Lord looks after our lives as the shepherd does for his sheep. “Jehovah-Jireh;” means the Lord provides. Psalm 23:1, “I shall not be in want.” When Abraham offered his son Isaac as a burnt offering in Genesis 22:14, God provided a sheep for Abraham to offer instead his son. God appeared as “Jehovah-Jireh.” When we call God “Jehovah-Jireh” it leads us to experience how God provides his people’s needs in their daily life.
“Jehovah-Shalom;” means that Jehovah is peace. Psalm 23:2 describes the Lord of peace, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.” Judges 6:24 says, “Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”
When we face fear, concerns and have burdens in our life, if we call the Lord of Peace we can have peace and comfort through the Lord of Peace. In the New Testament, the beatitudes say, “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” God blesses the peacemaker to have an abundant life.
“Jehovah-Rapha;” means that the Lord is a healer. Psalm 23:3 says, “HHHdsfgergetrfffdfgdfgedrtgerggge restores my soul.” The Lord heals our spirit and gives a new life. Exodus 15:26 says, “…I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” This verse means that God is the principle of healing and if Israelites refrain from sin, he will heal his people from all diseases. So when we call the Lord, we can be healed from all diseases both physical and spiritual.
“Jehovah-Tsedegenu;” means that the Lord is our righteousness. Psalm 23:3 says, “He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” It describes the Lord leading us into the righteous way. Jeremiah 23:6 says, “In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.” We were unrighteous sinners. We need to realize our sins and that we need righteousness. When we realize this, the Lord will make us righteous and leads us to live righteous lives.
“Jehovah-Sammah;” means that the Lord be with us. Psalm 23:4 says, “For you are with me.” This explains that the Lord is always with us. Ezekiel 48:35 says, “And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE.” It means that we will be with the Lord when the kingdom comes. Therefore, Jesus came to us as Immanuel: God with us to be with us as says in Matthew 1:23. John 15:7 promises that Jesus is with us, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” We want to live as followers of the Lord until the kingdom comes.
“Jehovah-Nissi;” means that the Lord is victory. Psalm 23:5 says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” The Lord will lead us to win over Satan, our enemy and gives us rewards. Exodus 17:15 says, “Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. He said, ‘For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.’” The Lord who gave a victory to Israelites over the Amalekites will be with us today and gives us victory over Satan who disturbs and presses us like the Amalekites. We should treat the Lord as our supreme commander and live a victorious life.
Hallowed Be Thy Name (Matthew 6:9)
As a person’s name represents the person, the name of God represents his nature and personality. So it is very important to know the meaning of other’s names before we use them. Martin Luther said that, “the Lord’s Prayer has mostly been mistreated on earth. The name of Jesus even more mistreated than the Lord’s Prayer. This means that it is a problem when people use the name of Jesus, God or Jehovah without knowing the meaning of them. They also use the Lord’s Prayer without knowing the meaning when they say, “Hallowed be Thy name.”
1. Who is Jesus who taught us to pray, “Hallowed be Thy name in the New Testament? He is God.
Why is Jesus Christ God? Because He ruled over nature, overcame death, forgave sins and completed the law. He did these things that only God can do. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” and John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” So, we use a theological word, “incarnation” to explain the event that God became flesh. The incarnated Jesus taught us to pray, “hallowed be Thy name.” It includes, Himself who is God as the One to whom we should pray. Jesus Christ is the mediator of our prayer. We pray in His name. He receives the glory and joy of the ultimate purpose of our lives through our prayers because He is God.
2. What are other names of Jesus Christ who is God?
Other names are the Bread of life, Living water, Truth, Life, Resurrection, Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, Lily of the Valley and the Door etc. In the Old Testament when Isaiah presents God Himself to us, it gives names of Christ that prophesied, “Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. When Jesus taught the Lord’s Prayer, “Hallowed be Thy name, He wants His name be treated in holiness.
3. What happens when we pray in the name of God, Lord and Jesus Christ?
When we pray in the name of Jesus signs and miracles happen. As Acts 4:30 says, “Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus,” we should yearn for miracles wherever the name of Jesus is proclaimed today. When we pray in faith, “Hallowed be Thy name,” in our daily lives, the powerful work of the name of Jesus Christ occurs.
2) When we proclaim the gospel in the name of Jesus, the power of salvation is revealed. The Bible says in Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” The power of salvation in evangelism is when we proclaim the gospel in the name of Jesus Christ. When we proclaim the gospel whether we have time or not and pray with “Hallowed be Thy name,” the power of salvation is revealed.
3) When we pray in the name of Jesus, we can rejoice even during difficulties in our lives. Acts 5:41 describes we can rejoice in our lives when we pray “Hallowed be Thy Name” that is even when we are under persecution and trouble, and being insulted in the name of Jesus Christ.
4. When we pray, “Hallowed be Thy name,” with our heart, what kind of life can we have?
When we pray, our lives resemble the holy God who is Holy by Himself. Isaiah 6:3 mentions the holiness of God, “And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” We cannot make God holy. However, the Scriptures say that the holiness of God has to be revealed through our lives. The holiness of God should be continuously revealed through born again Christians. This is called the sanctification of believers. How can the holiness of God continuously be revealed? It can be revealed through the Lord’s Prayer. Whenever we pray, we need to be sure that we are before God and not praying in vain. We have to live our lives while revealing the holiness of God in our lives.
5. “What kind of life is the spirit of “Hallowed be Thy name” and how can we live that life?
It is the life that is not misusing the name of God. Exodus 20:7 says, “you shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God.” Some English versions translated the Hebrew word for misuse as vanity. It means nothing, empty. So we should not use the name of the Lord in vanity. The name of the Lord, Jesus should not be used in vanity. The Lord does not allow His name to be used in vanity. Matthew 12:36-37 say, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” We often hear in the USA that the name of God or Jesus is being used as swear words. This is very wrong. I see many Christians who are raised in the USA using the name of God or Jesus in their swear words they are angry. We often use animals’ names to swear. We have to be careful. If we live according to the spirit of the Lord’s Prayer, the holiness of God should be revealed through our lives.
When we worship God in truth and spirit in his name, we glorify his name and his holiness can be revealed through our lives. Psalm 45:11 says, “The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” John 4:24 says, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” Worship needs spirituality as its basis. In worship, it is necessary to have fear of the Trinitarian God’s presence. When we truly worship God, the holiness of God can be revealed in our lives. When we glorify the Lord’s day in his name, we glorify his name and his holiness can be revealed through our lives. Jeremiah 17:22 says, “ but keep the Sabbath day holy.” The Christians’ Sabbath day that replaced the Jewish Sabbath day is named the Lord’s day (Rev. 1:10). When we sincerely devote ourselves to God on this day, we can live our lives while revealing the holiness of God.
In the survey for my thesis, one of my questions was “when you pray the Lord’s Prayer, “Hallowed be Thy name,” do you do it in a way that glorifies the name of God?” 72.5% of the participants answered yes, 3.9% no, 10.7% sometimes and 12.9% not sure. I do not see this survey as the standard of all Korean Christians. I analyze this in a positive way. Most Korean Christians live their lives to glorify the name of God and reveal his holiness. So the future of the Korean churches is positive and promising. However, few Christians who misuse the name of God can be very influential among others. It is enough to dishonor other Christians.
I hope my readers will live their lives in a way that brings glory to God and reveals the holiness of God when they pray the Lord’s Prayer, “hallowed be Thy name.”
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