Lord, Teach Us To Pray
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The first three requests Jesus teaches us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer are tied together by the clause, “on earth as it is in heaven,” which follows the third. To make this a little easier to understand, try thinking of these petitions as though the clause directly followed each of them, rather than being in conclusion after the last:
-Hallowed be Thy name on earth, as it is in heaven
-Thy kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven
-Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven
This may help you get a different perspective—that God’s name is indeed Holy, and is only perfectly kept holy in heaven. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for God’s help in keeping His name Holy here on earth, too.
God’s Name: Looking Back
In the ancient world, where many false unknown and nameless gods were worshiped, only the One True God revealed Himself by one name—“I am” (Exodus 3:14)—and made Himself known to Abraham, Isaac, and the children of Israel.
God showed Himself to be the Holy “I am” in many ways to His chosen people, but always as the One and Only Yahweh (Jehovah).
- Jehovah-Jireh: The LORD provides
- Jehovah-Rapha: The LORD heals
- Jehovah-Nissi: The LORD our Banner
- Jehovah-Rohi: The LORD our Shepherd
- Jehovah-Shalom: The LORD our Peace
- Jehovah-Sabaoth: The LORD of hosts
All of these names of God reveal much about His character, but He best reveals Himself in Jesus, the very Word of God made flesh. Through Jesus, God revealed His character as wonderful, mighty, and powerful. Yet, at the same time, full of love, grace, and mercy.
Hallowed Be Thy Name: Now
God’s name, His very character, is Holy. Why then, does Jesus teach us to pray these words? We pray that God’s name be kept holy on earth—among us, by us, and in us.
God’s name is kept holy when His Word is taught in truth, and we live lives that reflect His Word: Jesus. God’s name is profaned when our lives reflect anything less than what God’s Word teaches.
Left to ourselves, we cannot approach the Holy Lord of Hosts, Jehovah. But, through Jesus, we know that we can come to God as our Father. It is only through Jesus and His Spirit that we are able to lead holy lives and reflect the love of Jesus. This is what we pray in the Lord’s Prayer—for His name to be Holy among us.
Hallowed be Thy Name: There
God’s name is ever and eternally Holy. Nothing will ever change that. Even now, at this very moment, His name is praised as Holy in the courts of heaven, day and night, never stopping:
Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.[i]
Make this your prayer as well:
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.[ii] Amen.