To teach his disciples how to pray, Jesus gave them the Lord's Prayer. After teaching them to begin by calling God their “Father in heaven,” he gave them six petitions, six things for us to ask God to do. Now it’s time to look at them one by one. Obviously, we’ll start with the first petition: “Hallowed be your name.” (Matt. 6:9)
“Hallowed” is a word you might not have used before. It means “honored, treated as special.” A cemetery (burial ground) for soldiers who died in battle might be called a “hallowed” place. It’s designed to honor those who gave their lives to protect their people. The temple in the Old Testament is another example. It was a gold-covered building where our holy and sinless God met with his sinful people. The Israelites “hallowed” the temple; they treated it as if it was the most special spot on earth… because it was!
In the first petition of the Lord's Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray that God's name would be hallowed. By praying, “Hallowed be your name,” Jesus is teaching us to pray that people, including us, would give honor and glory and praise to God’s name. And when we give honor to his name, we are actually giving honor to him!
There are many different ways we can hallow and honor God's name. We can sing songs about how great he is. We can tell the true tales of all the amazing things he has done. The book of Psalms is the Bible's songbook. It's filled with poetry and songs that describe the goodness and greatness of our glorious God. Psalm 100:5 gives us a good example of how to hallow God's name: “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” The words of this psalm (song) hallow God’s name – they bring him glory and honor. They demonstrate how awesome and good our great God is!
When you pray, “Hallowed be your name,” understand that you are praying that God would be honored and praised, not just by you, but by everybody. Using this petition like a checklist, you could take time to praise God for the amazing Father he is and the good blessings he has given to you. You could even read words of praise from the Bible book of Psalms in your prayers to him.