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Lord, Teach Us To Pray
PRAYER IS ABOUT REVERENCING
Intro: The first phrase of The Model Prayer, “Our Father which art in heaven, speaks about our relationship to God. When we truly grasp the fact that God is our Father, it will create a desire within our heart to worship and glorify Him. Hence, it is fitting that the very next phrase deals with the idea of reverencing God in our worship and in our walk.
Bible uses the word “hallowed.” This word means, “to render or acknowledge, or to
be venerable or hallow; to be separate from profane things; to be dedicated to
God. There are other aspects to
this meaning and it was used to refer to things and to people that were
considered holy. For instance, the
vessels of worship used in the Tabernacle and the
However, here, we are not referring to people, places or things; we are referring to God Himself. He is said to be hallowed. This means that He is separate from sin and from sinners, Heb. 7:26. He is set apart and set far above the defilements of this world, Hab. 1:13. He is declared to be the thrice holy God by the angelic hosts, Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8.
Since He is holy and set apart, He is worthy of our love, our devotion and our worship. He alone deserves glory, power and honor, Rev. 4:11; 5:12. And that is the message which these four little words convey. They are designed to teach the truth that Prayer Is About Reverencing God. Because God is my Father, I can rest in His presence. I can pray in confidence knowing He will hear and answer my prayers. But, because He is holy, I am to come into His presence with a reverential attitude. These four small words in this section of The Model Prayer carry a very big message. Let’s hear them speak as we consider the thought that Prayer Is About Reverencing.
I. THESE WORDS SPEAK ABOUT A DESCRIPTION
A. The phrase “hallowed be thy name, tells us something about the character of God. In fact, the names of God revealed in the Word of God reveal His character to us. The only way we can know God is through the many names by which He has revealed Himself to us. His names tell us Who He is!
There is not sufficient time this evening to talk about all the names of
God. In the Old Testament, He was
commonly known by the name “Jehovah.” This is the name by which He revealed Himself
to Moses on
C. This great name took many forms over the years, as another facet of God’s character was revealed to His people. Let me give you a few derivatives of the name Jehovah that the Jews used:
1. Jehovah-Jireh Gen. 22:14 The Lord will see to it, or the Lord will provide.
2. Jehovah-Nissi Ex. 17:15 The Lord is our banner, or our victory.
3. Jehovah-Shalom Jud. 6:24 The Lord is our peace.”
4. Jehovah-Tsidkenu Jer. 23:6 The Lord Who is our righteousness.
5. Jehovah-Rohi Psa. 23:1 The Lord my Shepherd.
Jehovah-Rapheka Ex. 15:26 The Lord our healer.
8. Jehovah-Tsebaoth Isa. 37:16 The Lord of hosts or the Lord of battles.
9. There are many other names of God given in the Bible. He is called “Elohim, which means God.” He is called Jehovah-Elyon, which means “The Lord most high.” He is called Jehovah-M’Kaddesh, which means, “The Lord our sanctifier.” He is called El-Shaddai, which means “The all-sufficient One, or the Almighty God. He is called Adonai, which means “Lord.” He is also called “Father,” that is a name which blesses my heart!
He is called by many names, but the greatest of all His names is “Jesus Christ. This is the God Who took upon Himself human flesh, was born into this world and died on the cross for sinners. His names reveal Who He is and what He does for His people
D. When we enter His presence in prayer, we are to take the time to worship, honor and praise Him for Who He is. We are to lift heart, soul and voice to the One Who is God; to the One Who loved us, saved us, keeps us and cares for us. We are to take the time to reverence Him and honor His hallowed Name.
II. THESE WORDS SPEAK ABOUT A DECISION
A. When we come before the Lord is prayer, we face a decision. We can either focus our prayers around ourselves, or we can center our thoughts on Him. The phrase “hallowed be thy name, expresses a desire on the part of the prayer to bow before the Lord in humble submission and reverence. It expresses a desire to praise and worship before the Lord. It demonstrates a desire on the part of the worshiper to honor and love the Lord God. To hallow His name means that we give Him the first place in our thoughts, our affections and our lives. It expresses a desire to honor Him by our words and by our lives. It expresses a desire that He might be so honored by those who do not know Him.
B. We can learn about the reverencing of God by looking at Jewish practices in the past. The ancient Jews had such reverence for the name of God that they would not pronounce His Name out loud. They created the name “Yahweh from two of the Lords names, so they could talk about Him without calling His name. They feared they might use His name in vain and thus be guilty of blaspheme, Ex. 20:7. Jewish scribes, who were engaged in the practice of copying the Word of God, were so respectful of His hallowed name that they would wash their bodies, and change their pens before they wrote His name. After they had written His name, they destroyed that quill so that it could not be profaned by writing a lesser word. Many times, when referring to God, the Jews simply referred to “The Name.
need to learn the same degree of reverence for the hallowed name of God in our
day. Far too many people are guilty of
taking His precious name in vain. Words
like “Gosh, golly, gee, gee whiz, cripes, criminy, jeeze, are all
derived from the names of God and Jesus.
Be careful little tongue what you say! How many times have we heard, or
said, “Oh God!”; “Oh my God!; Jesus!”; “Oh
Jesus!”; “Oh Christ!”; “Jesus Christ!”; “God
Almighty!; or any of a thousand others just like those? Even
Christians are guilty of saying things like, Oh Lord!”; “My
God!”; “Good God!” We’ve all
done it, but it is degrading to the Lord’s Name to throw it around so
casually. His name is a hallowed name
and it is to be treated with respect and reverence. (
C. Do you get the picture? His name is to be hallowed and we must make the personal decision to do that when we prayer. No one can hallow His name for you. You and I must learn to reverence and respect that holiest of names so that we do not enter disrespectfully into His presence.
To come before the throne of grace in a flippant, jovial manner is to forget to Whom we are speaking. When we prayer, we are addressing God Almighty, the Creator of all things. We are talking to One Who is absolutely sovereign, infinitely holy and glorious beyond description. We must come into His presence with a spirit of reverence and holy fear. We must come before His presence with a desire to honor and worship Him. We must come before Him with a burning desire to lift His glorious name in praise. If nothing else is done when you pray, you should first of all and above all learn to enter His presence to worship His name. After all, when you worship and hallow His name, you are worshiping and hallowing God Himself! We must pray within the parameters of His will, never asking for anything that would dishonor His name!
III. THESE WORDS SPEAK ABOUT A DEVOTION
A. That prayer, “hallowed be thy name,” speaks of Who God is. It also expresses a desire on the part of the one praying to worship Him for Who He is and What He has done. I think it is also a petition for help in living out His holiness in our daily lives. There is no greater disservice done to the great and hallowed name of God than that done by those who claim to love and worship Him, when their lives are less than they should be!
B. Our greatest desire should be to live before the world in such a manner that they see Jesus revealed in us, Matt. 5:16. Our very lives are to hallow his name. Alan Redpath says the only reason God leaves us here after we are saved is so that we can hallow His name before a lost and dying world. He wants us to live lives that are so clean and so different from those of the world around us that men are drawn to Him for salvation, John 12:32.
We should be able to write over every area of our lives the inscription “Hallowed be thy name. When we cannot write that inscription over and area of our lives, then that area of live must be changed and brought under the subjection of God’s will.
In all that I do, everywhere I go, the activities I choose, the habits I form, the music I choose, the movies I watch, the friends I choose; whether it be in my body, my soul or my mind, I am to hallow His name. When I can’t do that, then I cannot pray like I should. When I can’t do that, my witness is hindered. When I cannot do that, I must make some radical changes in my life. When believers walk in disobedience to the will of God, they are guilty of taking His name is vain.
C. Hallowed be thy name,” is a prayer for God to be glorified by all that I am and in all that I do, 1 Cor. 10:31. God’s name is already holy, and we cannot make it anymore so. The only way we can hallow His name is through the lives we live. Is that the kind of prayer that you can honestly pray this evening?
Conc: You see, that little phrase, “Hallowed be thy name. Is a call for us to reverence the Lord by honoring Him for Who He is; respecting Him and worshiping Him when we pray; and by living out His perfect will in our daily lives. How are you doing in the area of hallowing His name? If there are areas that need work, then I challenge you to bow before the Father and ask Him to teach you how to hallow His name for His glory!