And he said to them, When you pray, say, Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done…
To hallow is either to make holy or to consider and recognize as holy. We cannot by our words nor by our deeds add any essential holiness to the Holy One of Israel; but we can think holy thoughts about Him; we can sanctify Him in our hearts. And in this petition we are taught to ask that our thoughts of God may be freed from error and cleansed from corruption; that our conception of His character may be corrected and enlarged and hallowed, so that it shall come nearer to the ineffable Divine reality. Moreover, the name of the Lord is hallowed, by our adding, as we can, to the respect and honour in which His name is held among men. The true child of God desires that all men should love and revere his Father in heaven; that not only the goodly fellowship of the prophets, &c., should praise Him, but that all men everywhere should honour Him; that earth as well as heaven should be filled with the majesty of His glory.
1. We cause His name to be hallowed in the earth by telling the truth about Him. One reason why many men do not hallow His name is simply that they do not understand His character. They have been told many things about Him that are not true. You are not hallowing the name of God when you make statements about Him which give the impression that He is unjust, or tyrannical, or cruel.
2. We can cause His name to be hallowed, also, by showing men that we honour and love Him. Good as well as bad sentiments are contagious. The unconscious influence of reverent hearts and praising lives will help to lift the thoughts of others to the same sublime realities.
3. Of praising lives, I said. For it is not chiefly by the reverent demeanour and the devout speech of God's children that the glory of their Father is promoted, but by the fidelity and nobility and beauty of their conduct. If we proclaim that He is our Father, then those who do not acknowledge Him will look to see what manner of spirit we are of. And if in our lives men see the purity and truth, the manliness and honour, the fidelity and charity that belong to all who learn of Him and abide in His fellowship and are transformed into His image, they cannot help honouring Him in whom we live and move and have our being.
(Washington Gladden, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.