In “Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers,” regarding the phrase in the Lord’s prayer where we request that His Name would be made Holy, he says:
The word “hallowed” means to render or pronounce holy. God’s name is essentially holy; and the meaning of this petition is, ‘Let thy name be celebrated, venerated, and esteemed as holy everywhere, and receive from all people proper honor.’ It is thus the expression of a wish or desire, on the part of the worshipper, that the name of God, or that God himself, should be held everywhere in proper veneration.
Well, yesterday I had stated that “Holy means that it is highly respected, esteemed, valued above all else!” And, as we are drawn to Him, that is indeed what will happen! You can’t help it. That same thing will happen if you walk near a bonfire, you will feel warm. Or, if you walk barefoot in a snowbank, you will get cold! That’s just the way it is.
I had commented before that before I become a believer, I read in the fourth chapter of Revelation:
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and were covered with eyes, inside and out. Without stopping day or night they were singing,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, who is, and who is coming.” (Revelations 4:8)
As an unbeliever, my immediate reaction was, “Wow! He really is vain. He has to have those poor ‘living creatures,’ continually singing how great he was. Wow” Ah, but when I became a believer, I discovered that they were not forced into doing that, it was the natural reaction of being in Yahweh’s presence! They couldn’t help but sing His praises!
For instance, when Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey, as a spontaneous act of adoration, the people spread their coats on the road and the whole crowd of disciples began to praise God for all the miracles they had seen. They shouted joyfully,
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven.”
As you would expect, some of the Pharisees in the crowd complained about it saying, “Teacher, tell your disciples to be quiet.” I guess it was undignified or something. But Jesus responded, “I can guarantee that if they are quiet, the stones themselves will cry out!” You just can’t help it, the praises will come! You would have a greater chance of success in stopping a raging river with your bare hands, than holding back those praises!
Now, this is very important because if were left to ourselves, any praying we might do would start and end with ourselves. That’s just the way we are. You may go ahead and admit it because there’s not much sense in your denying how selfish you are. In fact, our natural self-centeredness knows no bounds! But you see, Jesus’ prayer is a pattern, a pattern which is both crutch, road and walking directions for the spiritually lame like ourselves, and it tells us to ignore our natural self-centered instincts and start with Yahweh! He matters infinitely more than we do.
So, when we pray, “let your name be kept holy,” what are we really asking for? Well, God’s “name” means the person he has revealed Himself to be. “Holy” means known, acknowledged, and honored. It is all that makes our God different from us, in particular, His awesome power and purity. In other words, this prayer is asking that the praise and honor of the God of the Bible, and only Him, should the sole issue regarding everything in our lives.
The very foundation of our faith is that the praise of God (instead of ourselves) is to be the only pursuit in our lives! The Psalmist cried,
“Don’t give glory to us, O Yahweh. Don’t give glory to us. Instead, give glory to your name because of your mercy and faithfulness (Psalm 115:1)
Those who can sincerely look at everything: every event and circumstance from this point of view can sincerely offer this prayer. They will see everything ultimately coming from the hand of their Lord. But it doesn’t stop there. When we make God’s Name Holy in our lives, “nothing can move us or cause us to mistrust the faithfulness of our Father.
Scripture refers to the spirit which makes God’s Name Holy. “fear” of the Lord, signifying awe and esteem for God’s majesty on the one hand and humble trust on the other. A classic text here is Psalm 111:
Yahweh’s deeds are spectacular. . . . Your work is glorious and majestic . . . You have made your miracles unforgettable. You are merciful and compassionate. You provide food for those who fear him . . . You have revealed the power of your works to your people . . . Your works are done with truth and justice. All his guiding principles are trustworthy. They last forever and ever. They are carried out with truth and decency. You have sent salvation to your people . . . Your name is holy and terrifying . . .
The shorter Catechism states that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” Now notice that it says, “Man’s chief end,” and not “ends.” Because to “Glorify God” and to “enjoy Him forever,” are actually one activity. On the other hand, God’s chief end is His glory and He has so made us that we find our own deepest fulfillment and highest joy when we make His Name Holy in our lives through our praise, submission, and service.
Now our Father is no sadist, and the principle of our creation is that our duty, interest, and delight completely coincide!
Lord, I pray that your name will always be made holy in my family. Please let every part of this household join in the praises of angles and archangels and the whole company of heaven.Continually remind us that we are the basic unit of your Church, the who are “called out.” Join us together with the whole Church on Earth and in Heaven. Let nothing we say or do to each other cause your Holy Name to be defamed in any way.
Let your Name be made Holy when we work, when we play and when we worship. In the midst of the world, as each of us goes about our daily tasks, remind us that we as a family bear your Holy Name together.
May your Name be made Holy in our congregation and in the whole church. Let all those in authority in our church and in our Government know that they must give an account to you.
May your Name be made Holy in the state and the national capitals. Let the governor, the president, and the legislators and officials always be aware that they are your ministers. May your Name be made Holy in all the nations of the world and cause every knee to bow at the Holy Name of Jesus. Amen!
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