In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus (Yeshua) can be found ministering and teaching His disciples various principles regarding giving, fasting, the Father's care for His children, and many other things. One of the most notable portions of this scripture is His instruction to His disciples on prayer. It is prayer that opens the line of communication to the ears of the heavenly Father, a time of sweet communion in which we cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and also open ourselves to receive whatever it is that we are seeking from God's Holy Spirit.
In verse 9 of chapter 6, Jesus gives His disciples specific instructions on prayer saying, "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name...'" In the previous posts (click here to read OUR FATHER & WHO IS IN HEAVEN) we looked at the first complete phrase of verse 9 to learn more about the heavenly Father and where He has established His throne. Today we will examine the next phrase: "...hallowed be your name" and discover more about the sacred nature of the name of God.
"Hallowed" - hagiazo - (Greek transliteration) - v. (Thayer's Greek Lexicon)
1) To render, or acknowledge, as venerable (accorded a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character) - This meaning of "hallowed" speaks directly to the level of respect and honor that we should give to the name of God. It is such a serious matter that Elohim (God) includes it as a part of the 10 commandments. (Exodus 20:7)
2) To separate from things profane and consecrate (make or declare sacred; dedicate to a religious or divine purpose) - If you have ever wondered why religious people (and some non-religious people) get so uptight about the curse word "godd____it," this is why! :-)
3) To purify levitically (as did the Levite priests of the Old Testament - see Numbers 8) or by expiation (the act of atonement accomplished by only one man - Jesus Christ (Yeshua) - see 1 John 2:2)
From this information we now know that the name of God should be given a great deal of respect, that it should be separated from things profane or things not dedicated to a divine purpose, and that it rightfully belongs to one who is capable of expiation, or atonement for mankind. This can only be one man - Yeshua (Jesus Christ). Why then does Jesus instruct the disciples to pray to the Father rather than to Himself?
First, He had not yet made the atonement sacrifice by giving His life on Calvary so His purpose and subsequent ascension back to Glory had not been completed. (See Mark 16:19) Second, He knew that praying to the Father would be the same as praying to Himself because He and the Father are one (John 10:27-30). So, when you pray today, pray with great faith that your Father in heaven (who is one with the Savior) hears you and will answer your prayer. Amen.
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