The Lord’s Prayer No.2
“Our Father…Hallowed be Thy Name”
“Abba, Father” Jesus called God, His Father.
Last week we looked at this word Jesus used, “Abba” – means daddy or papa, or oto-chan. Little children in Israel still call their father “Abba” even now.
When Mari Anna was still very little, she liked playgrounds with lots of toys and equipment. I used to take her there very regularly because …it’s free!! In a playground one little boy called his father, “Daddy. Look!” Mari Anna came to me and asked, “How does he know you, Daddy?” For her, Daddy was only me…the word Daddy was my personal name she thought.
God, Father in heaven is also your daddy or papa. He is my personal God. My papa and your daddy, and of course, Our Father.
The Lord Prayer starts with an address to God, “Our Father, …” He is my Father, your Father, and our Father. If God is our Father, then we are His children, and we all are brothers and sisters. So we have a good family relationship in His house, the church. We are one family because our Father is one. We are one family because one Father bonds us together. “Our Father who art in heaven.” – this shows an unity in our church, as well as addressing to God.
I was really amazed by the structure / composition of the Lord Prayer when I studied in detail. It is super well, fantastic, greatly formed, designed, and organized. I cannot express how well it is structured, so I show in the following tables.
Analysis of the Lord Prayer
First 3 prayers: about God. Next 3 prayers: about man.
Prayer about God 神についての祈り
1. Hallowed be thy name
2. Thy kingdom come
3. Thy will be done
First 3 prayers: about God.
Next 3 prayers: about man (prayer for our needs)
Prayer about man人についての祈り
4. Give us this day our daily bread
Father God; Creator & sustainer
5. Forgive us our trespasses
Son Jesus; died to forgive our sins
6. Lead us not into temptation
Holy Spirit; helper & protector
As you see above, the Lord’s Prayer is perfectly harmonized, organized, and formulated.
- Present, past, future - Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
First pray about God, and Second, pray for our own needs.
Jesus told His disciples this pattern of the prayer rather abruptly, but His idea of the prayer was already perfectly organized.
1. The first prayer; Hallowed be Thy Name:
What does it mean? What is “Hallowed”? It’s not past tense of “Hello” of course, or nothing to do with Halloween party.
Hallow is: to treat as holy and sacred, set someone apart in different sphere. To hallow means to hold in reverence.
When we pray, “Hallowed be thy name”, this is to give God the reverence, the honor, the glory, the praise, the exaltation with all our might, strength, spirit and power.
Easier way to say is “Make God no.1 in your life” Yes, God No.1
Hallowed is the past perfect tense of hallow, and is the passive voice. That means God is hollowed by someone. Yes, God needs to be praised and worshipped by everyone on earth. God, the creator is to be honored by all His creation – that is His people in the whole world. Lord Jesus shows us in this Lord’s Prayer that we worship, glorify God, and at the same time, we also let all other people join us to worship and praise God together. Jesus encourages us to do together with everyone in the community, in this world.
2. What is “Thy Name”?
In the biblical time name had much more important meanings.
The name stands for the whole character of the person.
In Japan it is also similar. Many Japanese names have own meanings - name of the person implies his personality. Or at least, a parent named the child, hoping to have that specific personality.
“Yoshiko” – means “good girl”. Tadashi – righteous man. Satoru - to gain an insight. Gen – Origin or Genesis, or General – kind of unusual name.
The name in Jesus time also includes power and authority of the person.
Such as “in the name of the king, the decree has given…”
The name has the power and authority of the king.
So, the name of God indicates God’s nature, character, and the personality. It also includes power or authority of God.
The name of God can stand for nothing less than God Himself. The Old Testament can talk of “Blaspheming the Name” clearly means insulting God Himself. In the Ten Commandments, see Exodus 20:7, God Himself prohibits to use His Name in vain- “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.” It was blaspheming and was a capital punishment then.
“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
So, what then can we learn from this prayer, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed by thy Name”? How can we apply this to our daily life?
Knowing God as our own Father, we can trust in Him fully in our everyday life. We then give God the reverence, honor and glory. We worship Him, we sing praises to Him, just like we sang today, “Glorify thy name in all the earth”. His Name be glorified!
Make God the father no.1 priority in your life. Do anything not for your own pleasure, but do it for His sake. Commitment is another word for this action. Commit yourself to God. How much you can commit to God is measured by your faith. If you have a great faith, you then can commit a lot of yourself to God.
What is your commitment this week you can offer to God?
In practice you find many ways to show your commitment to God.
For example: Give your time for some one. Visit shut-in friend you know for a long time. Take care of children in the Sunday school. Welcome new visitors to the church helping them to stay comfortable. Help leading the Bible study. Join in the Praise Strings and visit senior citizens homes for praise worship. Meet many Japanese families in Rochester. Go to the university campus, meet and invite many students to your home, to the church or to the Bible study. Start your new ministry – many possibilities available; kayak ministry, visitation ministry, mother & child ministry, new comers ministry, international marriage couples’ ministry, and so on.
More and more, there are a hundred of new ministries or activities available at this church. Let me know your ideas, so that we can work together. Church is not operated only by a pastor, but everyone in the church. It’s called “priesthood of all believers.” Yes, you are priest, minister for your new ministry as the Lord gives you.
Let us serve this Japanese Fellowship Church together, to honor and glorify His name, saying together, “Hollowed by thy name”.
That’s what Jesus wants from us. Let us pray.