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…
God's name — that is, His nature or character. It is for the hallowing of this that Jesus teaches us to pray. Not that God's name can be more truly holy in itself at one time than another. The name of the Holy One of Israel is always equally holy in itself; just as the sun is always equally hot and glorious. To us, however, the sun is sometimes hotter and sometimes colder, sometimes brighter, and sometimes less bright; sometimes, too, we lose sight of it altogether, and are left in night and darkness. So it is with God's name. Though in itself it is always holy, all-holy, yet by us sinners it is more reverenced and more hallowed at one time than another. There is a summer of the soul, when we look in the sunshine of God's countenance; and there is also a winter of the soul, when our souls are cold and wither for the want of His cheering, enlivening presence. There is a night, too, of the soul, when we lose all sense and feeling of His holiness, and are, as it were, left in the darkness of sin. Therefore, in praying that God's name may he hallowed, we pray that there may be no more spiritual winter, no more spiritual darkness, but that the souls of all men may at all times feel the same bright and gladdening sense of God's true nature and character; we pray that all men may at all times think of God truly as He is. Now there is much need, believe me, of praying for this.
I. There is much need of praying that we may all of us always cherish true and holy and reverent thoughts about God.
1. The hardened sinner dishonours God's name, by robbing Him of His justice and hatred against sin.
2. The despairing sinner dishonours God in another way, by forgetting His mercy and lovingkindness. When we pray that God's name may be hallowed among the sons of men, we pray, in other words, that they may have such a true and lively sense both of His justice and of His mercy, as may lead them at once to fear and to love Him.
II. But since we are made up of soul and body, not only does it behove us to sanctify and hallow our Father and Saviour in our hearts and souls, we must also hallow Him with our bodies, and with outward actions-for instance, with our tongues and voices — by telling forth all His praise, especially by joining in the public service of the Church.
III. Let us hallow God's name by reverencing everything belonging to Him, His Word, His day, His sacraments, His ministers, His people.
(A. W. Hare.)
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.