The Lord’s Prayer
“Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy. (Matthew 6:9)
After learning to pray to God as our Father, as we learned yesterday, we must learn what it means to center ourselves in God. The phrase, “Hallowed be thy name,” is obscure in modern English, meaning that we do not use the word “hallowed” in everyday speech, nor do we understand what it means to honor someone’s name. So this needs some unpacking.
To hallow something is to honor it as holy or set it above everything else. In the ancient culture of the Bible, someone’s name represented their core character and even their purpose in life. For example, the name “Jesus” is a Greek translation of the Hebrew name “Joshua,” which means “Jehovah Saves.” The angel that appeared to Joseph said, “You are to give him the name “Jesus” because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Putting these two concepts together means that when we say “Hallowed be thy Name,” we mean that we both honor all that God is and desire his characteristics for ourselves. Essentially, we are claiming God’s character as the reference point of our lives. Another way of saying this is that we are centering ourselves in God.
Father, I do desire to honor you above all else in my life. I rejoice in your goodness, mercy, and grace. Teach me to center myself in you. Help me to embrace your character as my core desire and show me how to reflect your goodness to the people around me.
Everyone has a root motive or a core desire; what is yours? Some people live for money; others live for pleasure or fame. But all earthy motives ultimately miss the mark. As we pursue them, they either damage us or the people around us. They pale over time and ultimately leave us discouraged. But God never disappoints. When we pursue God as our goal, life begins to make sense. The reason for this is that all creation is his handiwork and reflects his character. When we align ourselves with him, things start making sense. We begin to feel a mysterious power at work moving us forward, a synchronicity where the various pieces of our life fit together. More than this, we begin to sense direction and forward motion. So again, what is your root motive? If it has been something earthly, it may help to be honest and confess it before God. Before you pray, “Hallowed by thy Name,” you may need to admit to God that other motives have been at the center of your soul. Don’t be afraid to confess this; God already knows it. Then, my challenge to you is to embrace knowing God as your root motive. Tell God of your desire by saying sincerely, “Hallowed by thy Name,” or maybe, “You are my center, my reference point for life, my core desire.” God will bless you, and it will not take long for you to begin making significant spiritual progress into a new and wonderful life.