Hallowed Be Thy Name
Most people, even those who don’t regularly attend a church, recognize the Lord’s Prayer when they hear it. But very few of us, including those in churches, fully comprehend the significance or implement the power of prayer that ‘hallows’ God’s Name, much less living a life that does so.
God has revealed many of His Names to help us understand this. His covenant compound Names declare His Being, His Nature and His purpose towards His children. For instance, Jehovah Jireh is essentially “the eternal, living God Who provides for you”, but how often do we pray and complain about our ‘provisions’ and tell God about our lack of money or whatever? Furthermore, we often tell everyone who will listen about our lack while professing to be children of the Living God and claiming the name Christian. Jehovah Raphe, “the God who heals you” is even more discredited. The minute the doctor’s prognosis is given, we spread the word far and wide without question; we simply accept the report even though it goes against God’s Word. We are not holding His Name as sacred when we deny the reality of who He IS and Whose we are.
Few of us believe that we have idols or practice idolatry, yet every time we accept and speak words that contradict God’s Words, we are putting someone or something above God, accepting some authority as more truthful and having more power over us than what God has decreed for us. We are essentially calling God a liar, declaring that His Word is not true for us. As believers, we have the Name above all names (John 16:23-24, 26-27, Philippians 2:9) and we are told to use the Name, to ask and receive in that Name, and that God is glorified when we do this. We are not servants, we are family, God has adopted us and given us the Family Name (John 15:15.) God regards family highly. In the Old Testament, a person was put to death for regarding their father or mother with contempt (Leviticus 20:9). Yet we treat God with contempt every time we speak contrary to His Word, when we deny the blessings of His covenant (Deuteronomy 28, Psalm 103, John 15:7-8), and exalt the words of the earthly ‘expert’ over God’s Words and His blood covenant with us (Numbers 13:32-33, 14:1-12.)
If you don’t know your Father’s plan, His will, His covenant agreement with you and His promises, you can’t and won’t argue authoritatively or enforce your family rights. To this end, we need to know the Word, we need to know it to the point that it fills our hearts and pours out of our mouths when contrary reports present an obstacle or argument.
--“Put Me in remembrance, let us argue our case together; State your cause, that you may be proved right.” Isaiah 43:26
--“You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” Isaiah 62:6-7
--“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7
When I was young, my mother worked for a judge in a court of law. This judge, like most judges today, did not look at the merits of the case before him; he looked at the arguments the attorneys presented. Whichever attorney presented the best case and supported it with case law got the favorable ruling. God is asking us to present a case, support it with what we know—precedent from scripture about how the family business is supposed to operate—and refute any opposition with sound argument. God has given us authority, but Satan will bully, intimidate, accuse and deny us our God-given rights if we let him. Satan twisted God’s words and successfully used them against humans in the beginning, and he is still doing it. Believers need to know, understand and believe God’s word unwaveringly and make our thoughts, words and actions align with God’s Words (2 Corinthians 10:5.)
Imagine your Father is a billionaire and asked you to go into the family business with him. You have the same name, He has given you the ‘no limit’ credit card, credit with all the vendors and banks, an expense account, salary with bonuses and benefits, and the keys to a company car. Yet you keep riding the bus, haven’t set up your direct deposit salary or any of your benefits, and you haven’t moved in to your office because the power hungry doorman at the building entrance won’t let you in! You have the Name, the authority and your Father’s private phone number, any one of which could rectify the whole situation. Once that doorman knows who you are and that you are going to exercise your authority, things will fall into place. But until you start using that name, it isn’t going to happen.
Greg Penner was just like anyone else, until he became part of the Walton family and was made the Chairman of the Board of the wealthiest family business in America. When people learn his relationship to Sam Walton—the founder of Wal-Mart—and his position in the family business, his authority and credit are established. He doesn’t have to ask twice! Whether he wants the company jet or credit for a real estate purchase, it is his.
Jesus prayed in John 17 that believers would be one with God as He was one with God. When we are one with God, we seamlessly operate in His will. When obstacles arise, it doesn’t matter which member of the family (or body) addresses the challenge, the authority of the Name we each carry is enough (Ephesians 1:18-23.) This doesn’t mean the authority will never be challenged. Every child of God has been given the Name; but the ability to use the ‘signet ring’ of authority only comes with the knowledge of the family business operating agreement (Genesis 41:42; Esther 3:10, 8:2; Haggai 2:23; 1 Kings 21:8; Daniel 6:17; Jeremiah 22:24; Luke 15:24). It is our responsibility to become knowledgeable and mature enough to use the authority and Name without repudiation (Acts 19:14). The demons know the difference! In that Acts 19 story, the demons knew Paul, but these priestly men didn’t understand the Name and were unknown: they couldn’t back up their authority because they didn’t know the covenant agreement and they weren’t family.
The Lord’s Prayer isn’t some secret incantation that produces results, but understanding and acting on the principles Jesus taught is always powerful. Jesus put "hallowed be thy Name" right at the beginning because it is foundational to the rest of the prayer. God's Name is His nature, the revelation of His character. Get in the Word, learn what the blood covenant of the New Testament guarantees for the Family members, join the Family business and learn to use the authority of your Father’s hallowed Family Name!