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“Hallowed Be Your Name” ~ Matthew 6:5-13

March 1, 2015 ~ New City Church of Calgary ~ Pastor John Ferguson

Intro: Imagine you are a barber or hair stylist, and one day Billy Graham came to sit in your chair for a shave
and a haircut. What would you ask him? Something like this once happened to a barber by the name of Peter
Beskendorf in the year 1535 in a small town in Germany.

• The great Reformer, Martin Luther, visited his old friend for a shave and a haircut. The barber asked Luther
for some suggestions on how to pray. And Luther responded with an open letter entitled, “A Simple Way
to Pray (…for Master Peter the Barber).

• Some 2000 years ago, Jesus was preaching “The Sermon on the Mount” to a large audience which had
followed him to the side of a mountain. And embedded in his teaching was “a simple way to pray,” which
has since become known simply as “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Last week in our introductory study to the Lord’s Prayer, we saw this amazing truth: “Jesus invites us into a
relationship with God that entails the privilege of address and experiencing the Creator of the universe as

• IOW, Jesus helps us to understand the major mission of his life, to take people like you and me and to
reconcile us to God in such a way that we (1) are adopted into God’s family as sons and daughters, and
(2) we get to call God by the name that Jesus used: “Father.” And access to Father in heaven means we
can lay out our requests before him as a child does with his father.

Key Question: Are there any things that we should be praying about? What requests should dominate our

Jesus is going to help us prioritize our prayers for us by teaching us some key themes that should fill our
prayers. IOW, in what flows out of the privilege and experience of addressing God as Father are 5 key themes
of prayer that are at once as simple as they are comprehensive.

• This week, we’ll learn about one key theme that Jesus says should in a sense dominate our prayers to the
Father, and if we grasp what he is saying, it has the potential to revolutionize our prayers and give us an
endless stream of things to talk to our Father in heaven about.

• This week, we’ll see Jesus inviting us to pray about what is very near and dear to our Father’s heart.

So whether you are new to Christianity or whether you’ve been a follow of Jesus for many years, you’ll get to
hear the words of Jesus as he invites people like you to come to know his God as your heavenly Father and
to pray in such a way that connects you to the interests of what Jesus called, “the Kingdom of God.”

“Hallowed Be Your Name” ~ Matthew 6:5-13

What does ‘hallowed’ mean?
1. Rare word in the English language. If we hear it at all, it’s probably in two contexts: 1) this prayer; and
2) talk about ‘hallowed ground’ or the ‘hallowed traditions.’

2. Dictionary: (1) holy, consecrated; (2) sacred, revered.

• So to ‘hallow’ something is to set it apart as sacred and worthy of reverence. E.g., memorial service

II. What does “hallowing” God’s name mean?
1. O
f all the things Jesus could direct us to pray about, why does he teach us to pray about God’s

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2. In the Hebrew mindset, a person’s name represented their character or something truthful about that

(1) Gen. 17:5, God renamed Abram (‘exalted father’) to Abraham (‘father of a multitude). It would be
through the people of Abraham that God would make himself known & ultimately bless the nations
of the earth.

(2) Ex. 3:14, “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am [YHWH]” / the eternal one

(3) Ex 6:2, God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD [YHWH]. I appeared to Abraham, to
Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty [El Shaddai], but by my name the LORD [YHWH] I did not
make myself known to them…. I take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall
know that I am LORD your God….”

• English: Yahweh / Latin: “Jehovah”, was the name given by the Creator God to Israel to proclaim
to the nations. They in a sense represented YHWH & his name/character to the nations.

• Israel came to rejoice in the name of YHWH because that is the name by which he made himself
known to them.

- Ps. 8:1, “O LORD our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.”

- Ps. 20:7, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD
our God.”

- Ps. 34:3, “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!”

- Ps. 96:8, “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name.”

(4) Ex. 20:7, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him
guiltless who takes his name in vain.”

• Many Jews to this day will not take the name of YHWH upon their lips for fear of misusing the
name. But it’s important to note that God did not say, You shall not use my name, but rather, You
shall not misuse it.

3. When we hear Jesus direct us to pray, “…hallowed be your name,” many of us think that we are to
pray that people would stop using God’s name as a cuss word; that instead they would use it in a
sacred way. And there is some merit to that. But let’s stretch our thinking just a little bit more….

Pop Quiz: What ‘name’ did Jesus give us to use in addressing and experiencing his God? Father!

• Hughes, 408, “What name is prominent here in the Lord’s Prayer? ‘Father’ — ‘Abba.’ “Father,
hallowed be your name.’ The name that we ask to be hallowed is Abba or Father. This is
revolutionary. Certainly God’s name as Creator (Elohim) and his covenant name (Jehovah), as
well as his many other names, are to be hallowed. But the emphasis here is on his name as
Father. This is especially what we pray for.”

• Quick fact: OT use of “Father” = 14x. Jesus uses “Father” some 60x.

• JI Packer, Knowing God, “ ‘Father’ is the Christian name for God.”

• John 17:25-26, “O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and
these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and will continue to make
it known….”

So to pray, “hallowed be your name,” is to pray that people would come to know and cherish
and adore our Creator God as ‘Father.’

Jesus invites us to fill our prayers with a earnest desire
for God’s name (aka ‘Father’) to be treasured above all else.
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In his classic work on the Lord’s Prayer, the Puritan Thomas Watson listed 16 ways in which we can hallow /
sanctify / reverence God’s name. I want to list just three.

1. We hallow God the Father’s name…by believing in his Son, Jesus Christ.
• Before we can know God as Father and treasure his name as Father, we must come to believe in his
Son who is the one who introduces us to his God and Father. God the Father sent Jesus to us to help us
know God as Father, and to deal with our rebellion against him. Before he can reconcile us to God, he
must deal with the obstacle, which is our sin.

• John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, has made him

• When we believe in Jesus, he gives a bunch of gifts to us. Two great big gifts:

(i) John 1:12, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become
children of God….”

(ii) Rom. 8:15-16, “…you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba!
Father!” The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then
heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ….”

• John 5:23, “…that all may honour the Son, just as they honour the Father. Whoever does not honour the
Son does not honour the Father who sent him.”

✤ So, to fill our prayers with an earnest desire for God’s name to be treasured above all else name

is to pray at the same time for the fame of the name of Jesus because he is the one who gives us
the right to become children of God.

2. We hallow God the Father’s name…by answering this prayer with our lives.
• Cyprian, “We say, ‘Hallowed by your name,’ not that we wish for God that he may be hallowed by our
prayers, but that we beseech of Him that His name may be hallowed in us.”

• John Piper, “The plea, “Hallowed be your name,” is the only petition in the Lord’s Prayer where an
explicit act of the human heart is named. The act of hallowing. All the other petitions serve this. The
kingdom comes for this. God’s will is done for this. Daily bread is for this. Forgiveness is for this. Escape
from temptation and evil is for this.”

• My Father in heaven, make me holy so that I may reflect you. Enable me to honour you in the thoughts
of my mind, in the intents of my heart, in the words of my mouth, in the actions of my body. May
everything I do reflect a consuming passion that your name would be considered hallowed in my life.

• Illus: Sometimes when my kids go places, I would remind them, “Remember that you are a Christian
and you are a Ferguson.”

• Illus: Are you a Christian? Yes? I could just tell. How? You bear the family likeness.

✤ So, to fill our prayers with an earnest desire for God’s name to be treasured above all else name

is to pray that our lives would bear the family likeness, that is, that our character would be like
our Father’s.

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3. We hallow God the Father’s name……by interceding that the world would come to know God as
• It is thus a missionary prayer! It’s a prayer in line with the Father’s heart to redeem and reconcile this
estranged world to himself.

So, to fill our prayers with an earnest desire for God’s name to be treasured above all else name
is to pray that the whole world might come to know God as “Father,” and the way that happens
is through the gospel Jesus Christ.

Put this into practice this week. Perhaps a good place to start is to tell God that your prayers have not been
dominated with a desire that his name be treasured in your life and in the life of those around you. Perhaps
there are things that your treasure much more than the fame of God’s name.

Let me challenge you to carve out time to talk to heavenly Father about this; to ask him to reorient your heart
so that your burning desires are in line with the burning desires of his heart.

So fill your mind & heart with the truths of the Gospel of Jesus that you prayers often drift back to this theme.

✤ NCC, may you be a people who takes up Jesus’ invitation to fill your prayers with an earnest desire
for God’s name to be treasured above all else because your hearts are being filled with an earnest
desire for your Father’s name to be treasured above all else.

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