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…
What "name" is this that our Lord here teaches us to "hallow" in our prayers? God has been known by many names. He was first revealed as Elohim, the God of nature, the Creator — a name to which in the early Scriptures no moral attributes are attached. He was known also to the early patriarchs as El-Schaddai — the God Almighty. He was known also as the Holy One of Israel, and as the Lord of Hosts. Above all, He declared Himself by that name which in our version is rendered Jehovah — or for which the word LORD in small capitals is substituted, — which seems to mean the Self-existent and Eternal Being. And now Jesus teaches us to address Him as our Father. Which of these names are we here bidden to hallow? As soon as we ask this question, it at once becomes plain that "name" is not used herein the narrow verbal sense of which we have been speaking, but in a wider and larger sense. It is not merely the letters and syllables that spell the name by which God is known, that our Lord teaches us here to sanctify. The petition includes, I suppose, all the names by which God has revealed Himself. There is no word that is large enough to hold all the truth that God has told men about Himself. He must needs choose many different words under which to declare to men different attributes and phases of His character. And when all these words are uttered, the half is not told. And it is not only by words that He has made Himself known. In the order and the beauty of the universe He discloses Himself; in the movements of the race; in the person of His Son; and in the heart of the humble and contrite believer. Indeed the whole of creation, the whole of providence, the whole of history, is simply God's method of revealing Himself. Now, as I understand this first petition, it includes the thought that all these distinct but conspiring revelations of God are to be reverenced. Whatever helps us to a fuller knowledge of Him — His nature, His character, His purposes, His works — ought to be held sacred. But the name of God stands for God Himself, and I suppose that when we intelligently offer this prayer we express the desire not only that the various revelations which God has made to men may be reverently treated, but that God Himself may be honoured in our thoughts and in our conduct.
(Washington Gladden, D. D.)
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.