The Lord’s Prayer – Hallowed be Thy Name

(Jesus said…) “This, then, is how you should pray:

9 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”  – Mt 6:9-13, NIV

Meditation

After seeing how Israel’s leaders prayed through uncertainty, I choose to pray differently in this season of doubt, ambiguity and insecurity.  How?  I marinate (meditate?) on the character of God’s names as I pray.  In quiet moments, I immerse myself in God’s nature expressed by His names. I infuse myself with my maker’s integrity.  I soak myself in His truth.  His presence quells my doubts.  His faithfulness kneads the tense muscles of my flailing faith.  Steeped in His Spirit, I see, feel and taste His power in trials.  The subtle certainties of His names give confidence and assurance to the heartfelt concerns of my prayers.   

Today, the norm is no-norm.  Settled is un-settled.  Comfort is dis-comfort.  Caring is practicing (anti)social-distancing.  Angst yields to anxiety.  Fret gives way to fear.  Quiet and disquiet blur together.  However, tumult and worry are lies.  As I marinate on God’s unchanging character and fixed persistence, scripture reminds me that God sustains me … at the center of the storm … at the hub of oppression … at the core of punishment …  at the heart of great turmoil … through the hotbed of banishment and alienation. Like flavors that infuse meats on the BBQ, immersing myself in God’s person subtly reminds me of His unfailing integrity, trustworthiness, steadfastness and consistency.  Israel used God names as an unbroken momento of His faithfulness; a badge in seasons of testing and uncertainty. 

Application

My Perspective:  I don’t presume to read Jesus’ thoughts, 2000 years later, as He taught His disciples to pray.  For me, as I pray the Lord’s Prayer, marinating His prayer with His character, the flavors become more robust.  When I proclaim, “hallowed be thy name…”, scripture reminds me that one of God’s names is Jehovah M’Kiddish, The Lord who Sanctifies.   

Sanctify:  Sanctify refers to something “uniquely special” or “set apart”.  The Bible explains this in two ways.  First, God is uniquely special (Deut 4:35, 1Sam 2:2, Is 44:6).  Second, God declares people, places and events to be uniquely special (Lev 20, 23, 25, 27, etc).  Similarly, we are sanctified, once, because of Jesus’ resurrection. Then, God’s Spirit sets us apart, daily, in life’s trials.  In the Lord’s Prayer while recognizing God’s character as uniquely special, we ask that our thoughts, words and deeds reflect His infused holiness everyday.  

Next Steps

God, you alone are Jehovah M’Kiddish.  When I turned to you, You sanctified me. Daily as I live for You, You restore my unique specialness.

Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformation who nailed 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Church door in 1517, taught his children the meaning of each segment of the Lord’s Prayer.  In his famous Small Catechism[1], he taught them that this petition instructs us to refer to God in truth and purity.  By what we say and do, we should lead lives set apart (qadash) from the profane language and evil intent of the world at-large.

“‘Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy”.  -Lev 20:7-8, NIV

 Today, I will pray…   

9 “Our Father in heaven, you are Jehovah M’Kaddish. By your righteousness, I am and become qadash.
10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”  – Mt 6:9-13, NIV

 


[1] Luther, Martin, The Small Catechism (Wittenberg, Germany, 1529). Trans Henry Eyster Jacobs, DD, LLD, SysTD., Philadelphia, PA, 1911.