Hallowed be thy name. — Matt 6:9
While the name “Our Father” over the gate of prayer assures us of loving welcome and of all tenderness, thoughtfulness, and care, the words “which art in heaven” remind us of the surpassing glory and majesty of God. We should not lessen the force of “hallowed be thy name.” We should not rush into His presence as we do into the presence of an earthly parent. We should remember His infinite greatness and holiness, and should come always with reverence. His is a name to be “hallowed.” “Holy and reverend is his name.”
Of this, this petition reminds us. It checks the flow of our thoughts and feelings, and bids us approach God with a suitable sense of our unworthiness and of His holiness. It bids us be reverent though bold.
The Prayer found here in Matthew’s Gospel is a prayer for the glorifying of God in this world. When we pray it we must be sure that we do our part in making His name hallowed. We can do this by our own reverent use of that holy name. Good Christian people sometimes grow very careless in speaking of God. They become so accustomed to using His name in prayer and speech that they utter it as lightly as if it were the name of some familiar friend. I have seen a miner with black grimy hand, pluck a pure flower from the stem, and it seemed a profanation. But what shall we say of our own taking on our sin defiled lips the holy and awful name of God? We ought to learn to hallow that blessed name in our speech.
Then we should hallow it in our lives. We are God‘s children, and we bear His name. How may a child honour a parent’s name? Only by a life worthy of a parent. We must take heed, therefore, that in every act of ours, in our behaviour, in our whole character and influence, we live so that all who see us shall see in us something of the beauty of God. It would be a sad thing, indeed, if we gave people a wrong idea of God or of the religion of Jesus Christ.