Devotional: ‘Our Father, Which Art in Heaven, Hallowed by Thy Name’  

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“When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name…” (Luke 11:2)

I have often wondered what it means to pray ‘hallowed be thy name.’ Does it mean that we are never to take God’s name in vain or use it as a curse word? We all know that it would be sinful for us to use God’s name the way some do. I am troubled even when I see the abbreviation ‘O.M.G.’ But perhaps Jesus meant more than just that we should never use God’s name as an expletive. Perhaps He was trying to teach us something important about how God’s name affects our prayers. Let’s take a moment and explore what it means to keep God’s name holy.

First of all, which name of God are we to keep holy? Is it the name ‘God?’ Is it God Almighty? Is it Jehovah? Which name are we to consider sacred? Although we should keep all of God’s names holy, perhaps the name Jesus was referring to at this time is the name ‘Father.’ I say that because that’s the name Jesus referred to when He taught His disciples how to pray. “Father, hallowed be your name…”Why is it so important that we honor God as our Father whenever we pray?

By recognizing God as our heavenly Father, we are doing several things:

1) We Are Reminding Ourselves of Our Special Relationship

There are only two people who call me dad: that’s my two daughters. Though I care about many people, only my daughters have that kind of relationship with me. I remember a story I once read about Jonathan Falwell and one of his children. It seems that Jonathan was speaking to a group of people when suddenly one of his children came into the room and went straight to the platform. What did Jonathan do? He stopped immediately in the middle of his message and gave his attention to his child. Though God could have given us many names to say when we pray, He chose the name ‘Father.’ Whenever we pray to God, we are like a child speaking directly to their father.

2) We Are Reassuring Ourselves of His Loving Care

Whenever we call God ‘Father’, we are not only reminding ourselves of our special relationship, we are also reassuring ourselves of His loving care. Good fathers care deeply about their children and will always do whatever is necessary to care for their children.

 3) We Are Relinquishing to Him the Control Over Our Lives

Albert Barnes states in his commentary that the title ‘father’ denotes: {authority, eminence, superiority, and a right to command.} The Bible says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1)Surely, if a child is to obey their earthly parents, how much more should we obey our heavenly Father.

God bless you my brethren.

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