“In the first request (Hallowed be your name) we pray that God will enable us and others to glorify Him in everything He uses to make Himself known and that He will work out everything to His own glory.” – Shorter Catechism Q 101
The word ”hallowed” is not a word I use much outside of this prayer. To hallow God’s name means to live a life that shows his glory is absolutely sacred and ultimate.
Because God himself is the supreme beauty and aim of life, my practice of adoration for my heavenly Father, worship, should become preeminent in my life and my prayers.
Confessing my self-centred approach to God in prayer
Most of the time, I am far more concerned about my own great name. I find my stubborn pride, selfish ambition, and desire for a self-made reputation make me resistant to going to my heavenly Father in prayer at all. I can go for lengths of time without thinking about or relating to God.
It is difficult for me to be aware of the presence of a spiritual being that I cannot see. I forget about the reality of a parallel invisible universe, the spiritual realm. I forget about the reality of God’s throne room where he presides over the universe and is worshipped by cherubim, seraphim, the angelic realm, and those who have passed from this life in faith.
But even in times of need, when I think I am humbly approaching my heavenly Father, I see my motives for my prayers are mixed. There is a selfish part of me that resists praying for his ultimate glory. I pray for things because I want the glory for myself.
As I reflect on my prayers, I am shocked by how little I devote them to worshipping God. Most times I rush past my worship of God, and prioritize a long list of things I want: material wealth, good health, financial security, and relational harmony to name a few.
What I prioritize in my prayers reveals what I ultimately adore. I am convicted. Most of the time I long for things that will shore up my glory by the presents God can give, rather than ultimately desiring his glory and presence. My desire for my own glory causes interference with my prayers for God’s glory.
I am shocked by how little I devote them to worshipping God. Most times I rush past my worship of God, and prioritize a long list of things I want
When I reflect on my prayers, I see that many of my requests are for things he can give me, not for God himself. My prayers for material blessings, fulfilling experiences, or respect and social status are often what I am making ultimate to God himself.
This is most evident when I feel that God doesn’t come through for me; I get resentful. Am I not praying for other ultimate things, and for my own glory? As I learn to desire God’s great name above all, I learn to rest from my desire for my name to be great.
When I believe that all that my heavenly Father does is for my good and for the glory of his name, I can accept my circumstances and rest, even when he allows me to endure pain, failures, and let downs.
I can accept that all I ask God for may or may not be granted to me. I can trust that God will answer for the sake of his name to be exalted and lifted up. It is humbling for me to think that Jesus requested that the cup of the cross would be taken from him three times, and yet his prayer was not answered.
My desire for my own glory causes interference with my prayers for God’s glory. This phrase (Hallowed be your name) in the Lord’s prayer convicts me of just how offensive my desire for selfish glory is, and reminds me to confess and reorient my prayers to seek his glory.
As I learn to desire God’s great name above all, I learn to rest from my desire for my name to be great.
Take a moment to examine how much of your prayer is devoted to worship of God? What are some things you ask for that you are making ultimate to God?
Learning to worship God in prayer
The more I meditate on God’s work in history, the more I am reminded of why God’s name is great, and my heart responds more readily in worship.
In particular, for me, the biblical accounts of God’s throne room in the heavens really fuel my worship. I read about Elohim (the supreme spirit), who is the unseen reason why the material universe exists and is sustained. These are a few times where Bible writers were taken up into heaven itself, and we get a glimpse of his amazing glory.
I need to meditate on these accounts in order to be captivated by God’s glory.
We would all benefit greatly from investing more time in meditation on God’s Word and allowing it to reorient our self-centred prayers towards God’s glory and great name. Let us allow passages like this one to lead us and grow our desire for God’s name to be made great.
Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.
Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Tremble before him, all the earth!
The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
– 1 Chronicles 16:23-31
As you orient your prayers towards the ultimate glory of God’s name, you are humbling yourself in worship of God, and glorifying him in what you pray for.
Written by Corey Porter.
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