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…
This petition, "Hallowed be Thy name," is set in the forefront, to show that the hallowing of God's name is to be preferred to all things.
I. It is to be preferred before life: we pray, "Hallowed be Thy name," before we pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." When some of the other petitions shall be useless and out of date; we shall not need to pray in heaven, "Give us our daily bread," because there shall be no hunger; nor, "Forgive us our trespasses," because there shall be no sin; nor, "Lead us not into temptation," because the old serpent is not there to tempt: yet the hallowing of God's name shall be of great use and request in heaven; we shall be ever singing hallelujahs, which is nothing else but the hallowing of God's name. Every Person in the blessed Trinity — God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost — must have this honour, to be hallowed; Their glory being equal, and Their majesty co-eternal — "Hallowed be Thy name."
1. What is meant by God's name?
(1) By God's name is meant His essence — "The name of the God of Jacob defend thee"; that is, the God of Jacob defend thee.
(2) By God's name is meant anything by which God may be known; as a man is known by his name. God's name is His attributes, wisdom, power, holiness, goodness; by these God is known as by His name.
2. What is meant by hallowing God's name? To hallow, is to set apart a thing from the common use to some sacred end. As the vessels of the sanctuary were said to be hallowed, so to hallow God's name, is to set it apart from all abuses, and to use it holily and reverently. In particular, hallowing of God's name is to give Him high honour and veneration, and render His name sacred. When a prince is crowned, there is something added really to his honour; but when we go to crown God with our triumphs and hallelujahs, there is nothing added to His essential glory; God cannot be greater than He is, only we may make Him appear greater in the eyes of others.
8. When may we be said to hallow and sanctify God's name?
(1) When we profess His name.
(2) We hallow and sanctify God's name when we have a high appreciation and esteem of God; we set Him highest in our thoughts.
(3) We hallow and sanctify God's name when we trust in His name.
(4) We hallow and sanctify God's name when we never make mention of His name but with the highest reverence; God's name is sacred, and it must not be spoken of but with veneration. The Scripture, when it speaks of God, gives Him His titles of honour — "Blessed be the most high God"; "Blessed be Thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise."(5) We hallow and sanctify God's name when we love His name.
(6) We hallow and sanctify God's name when we give Him a holy and spiritual worship. Then we hallow God's name, and sanctify Him in an ordinance, when we give Him the vitals of religion, and a heart flaming with zeal.
(7) We hallow and sanctify God's name when we hallow His day "Hallow ye the Sabbath-day."(8) We hallow and sanctify God's name, when we ascribe the honour of all we do to Him — "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name." This is a hallowing God's name when we translate all the honour from ourselves to God — "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory!" The king of Sweden wrote that motto on the battle of Leipsic: "Ista a Domino facta sunt"; "The Lord hath wrought this victory for us."(9) We hallow and sanctify God's name by obeying Him. How doth a son more honour his father than by obedience?
(10) We hallow and sanctify God's name when we lift up God's name in our praises. God is said to sanctify, and man is said to sanctify. God sanctifies us by giving us grace, and we sanctify Him by giving Him praise. Especially, it is a high degree of hallowing God's name, when we can speak wall of God, and bless Him in an afflicted state — "The Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord!" Many will bless God when He gives, but to bless Him when He takes away is in an high degree to honour God and hallow His name.
(11) We hallow and sanctify God's name when we sympathize with Him; we grieve when His name suffers.
(a) We lay to heart His dishonour. How was Moses affected with God's dishonour! He broke the tables.
(b) We grieve when God's Church is brought low, because now God's name suffers.
(12) We hallow and sanctify God's name when we give such honour to God the Son as we give to God the Father.
(13) We hallow God's name by standing up for His truths. Much of God's glory lies in His truths; God's truths are His oracles. God's truths set forth His glory; now when we are zealous advocates for God's truths, this is an honour done to God's name.
(14) We hallow and sanctify God's name, by making as many proselytes as we can to Him; when, by all holy expedients, counsel, prayer, example, we endeavour the salvation of others.
(15) We hallow God's name when we prefer the honour of God's name before the dearest things.
(a) We prefer the honour of God's name before our own credit. This is a hallowing God's name, when we are content to have our name eclipsed, that God's name may shine the more.
(b) We prefer the honour of God's name before our worldly profit anti interest — "We have forsaken all and followed Thee."
(c) We prefer the honour of God's name before our life — "For Thy sake are we killed all the day long."(16) We do hallow and sanctify God's name, by an holy conversation — "Ye are a royal priesthood, a peculiar people: that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you."
1. See the true note and character of a godly person; he is a sanctifier of God's name "Hallowed be Thy name."
2. I may here take up a sad lamentation, and speak, as the Apostle Paul, weeping, to consider how God's name, instead of being hallowed and sanctified, is dishonoured. Theodosius took it heinously when they threw dirt upon his statue; but now, which is far worse, disgrace is thrown upon the glorious name of Jehovah. Let us hallow and sanctify God's name. Did we but see a glimpse of God's glory, as Moses did in the rock, the sight of this would draw adoration and praise from us.That we may be stirred up to this great duty, the hallowing, adoring, and sanctifying God's name, consider —
1. It is the very end of our being. Why did God give us our life, but that our living may be a hallowing of His name? Why did He give us souls but to admire Him; and tongues, but to praise Him? The excellency of a thing is, when it attains the end for which it was made; the excellency of a star is to give light, of a plant to be fruitful; the excellency of a Christian, is to answer the end of his creation, which is to hallow God's name, and live to that God by whom he lives.
2. God's name is so excellent that it deserves to be hallowed — "How excellent is Thy name in all the earth!" "Thou art clothed with honour and majesty." God is worthy of honour, love, adoration. We oft bestow titles of honour upon them that do not deserve them; but God is worthy to be praised; His name deserves hallowing. He is above all the honour and praise which the angels in heaven give Him.
3. We pray, "Hallowed be Thy name": that is, let Thy name be honoured and magnified by us. Now, if We do not magnify His name, we contradict our own prayers.
4. Such as do not hallow God's name, and bring revenues of honour to Him, God will get His honour upon them — "I will get Me honour upon Pharaoh."
5. It will be no small comfort to us when we come to die that we have hallowed and sanctified God's name: it was Christ's comfort a little before His death; "I have glorified Thee on the earth."'
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.