Hallowed Be Your Name

Tom Pennington • Matthew 6:9

  • 2006-01-29 AM
  • Lord, Teach Us To Pray
  • Sermons

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Many of you began this new year with a New Year Resolution that's a good one, and that is to read through the Scripture, and you started in Genesis 1 and you have enjoyed your reading a lot. You got to Exodus and you saw God's great redemption of His people, and about this time you are getting to Leviticus. Now, Leviticus is part of God's Word and it is profitable to us. Someday, if God wills, we'll make our way through some of those great passages, but Leviticus 1 - 7 lays out the 5 kinds of offerings that the children of Israel were to offer before the Lord. It is a detailed almost laborious description of the only way that sinners can approach a holy God. In fact, it is in this very section where most Christians' New Year's resolutions to read through the Bible break down. You get to Leviticus and somehow it just doesn't seem as invigorating as the creation of the world or God's redemption of His people from Egypt.

Let me take you, as we begin this morning, to Leviticus, and to Leviticus 8. In Leviticus 8, Moses, after the various sacrifices that were to be offered had been laid out, Moses consecrates his older brother Aaron and Aaron's sons, or Moses' nephews. And he consecrates them to offer this complex series of sacrifices that were part of that great system which pointed to the great sacrifice that would one day come. But if you think that, as you read these chapters, if you think that this was a somewhat tedious process for Aaron and his sons, then you haven't read it carefully. Notice Leviticus 9:1: After all the instructions had been laid out, after Moses had consecrated Aaron and his sons to make the sacrifices, it came about on the 8th day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel, and he basically says I want you to offer some of these sacrifices as now has been laid out for us.

So, Aaron and his sons do exactly what God commanded them through Moses, and they set out to offer the sacrifices. Verse 5, they took what Moses commanded to the front of the tent of the meeting and the whole congregation came near and stood before the Lord. Moses said this is the thing which the Lord has commanded you to do that the glory of the Lord may appear to you. Now, I'm sure, with those words, chill bumps coursed through both Aaron and his sons as they thought of God appearing in manifestation so that they could see the great God of the universe.

They offer the sacrifices. Verse 22 tells us that after they had offered them, when Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he stepped down after making the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting. When they came out and blessed the people, the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. And then an amazing thing happened. Verse 24, fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it they shouted and fell on their faces. Now for those who are looking for one, this is a worship experience. But tragedy quickly follows.

Notice 10:1. "Now Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them." Now there are many different ideas about what Nadab and Abihu actually did or did not do here. The opinions range from, they took upon themselves a task they had not been assigned by God to do, all the way to: they were intoxicated, they were drunk while they were carrying out these commands.

That's the most likely explanation based on verses 8 and 9 where Aaron's given the instructions that no one is ever to be drinking while they are doing the work of the tabernacle, and later the temple. But whatever they did, this much is very clear. Look at the end of verse 1. It was not as God had commanded them. But what I want you to see is God's response to Aaron's sons, Moses nephews. Notice 10:2. And fire came out from the presence of the LORD just as it had at the end of chapter 9 and consumed the burnt offering. But this time it wasn't the burnt offering that was consumed, it was Nadab and Abihu. And they died before the LORD. Then Moses said to Aaron, it is what the Lord spoke.

Moses speaks to his now grieving oldest brother, and he says Aaron, my heart goes out to you in the loss of your two boys, but this is exactly what God said. Your sons crossed the line, and he reminds Aaron of what God had said. It is what the Lord spoke saying, "By those who come near Me, I will be treated as holy. Before all the people, I will be honored." Now, obviously, Moses' primary application here concerned the priests of Israel, those who were offering the sacrifices, but the principle in verse 3 is not bound by what your role is. It's not bound by time or by location, or by nationality, or by Testament. It's every bit as much true in New Testament times as it is Old Testament times. It is an unchanging, unchangeable law of Gods' moral universe. God says, by those who come near me, I will be treated as holy, and before all the people, I will be honored.

Now today we come in our study of the Lord's Prayer to the first petition. And Jesus wants us to grasp this very same principle that's found in Leviticus 10, that as we come near our God in prayer, we must treat Him as holy. The greatest concern on our minds, the very first request out of our mouths should be for the same thing. This concern to treat God as holy should be our greatest priority in prayer.

Let's turn to Matthew 6, and let me read again these familiar but beautiful and profound, far-reaching words of our Lord in what we traditionally call The Lord's prayer. Matthew 6:9,

"Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven. Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen."

In this remarkable prayer we not only have a particular prayer that we can pray both in private and in corporate prayers, but more importantly, and really more to the Lord's point here in Matthew 6, He has provided us with a model, with a pattern. "Pray in this way." All our prayers should follow this basic model. Now as we have observed already there are three essential elements of this prayer. There is a preface, "Our Father Who is in heaven". Then there are six petitions, or six categories of prayer, followed by a conclusion, For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.

Now over the last two weeks we have examined very carefully the preface, or the invocation. But today we come to the six petitions. The six petitions give us six categories of prayer. They outline the kinds of requests that should come from our lips and our hearts. Every prayer you and I pray can be summarized by these six categories. And these are the things about which we should pray.

Jesus teaches us that we are to pray in these six categories. Let me give them to you.

First of all, He says that we are to pray about the glory of God. "Hallowed be Your Name." Secondly, we are to pray about the work of God. "Your kingdom come." Thirdly, we are to pray for the will of God. "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Fourthly, we are to pray for the needs of this life. "Give us this day our daily bread". The fifth category, is the confession of sin. "And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors." And the sixth and final category, is the pursuit of holiness. "And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

So, those are the categories into which our prayers are to fall. We are to consume ourselves as we pray with thinking in terms of these six kinds of requests. Those requests that concern the glory of God, that concern the work of God, that concern the will of God, the needs of this life, the confession of sin, and the pursuit of personal holiness. Before we study the first of these in detail, let me just make some general observations about all six of these priorities for our prayers. Notice, first of all, the proportion of this prayer. Half of these requests, the first half, are about God. And half of them are about us and our needs. Isn't that interesting. If most of us are honest with ourselves, our prayers are about us. They're not about God. They're not about God and His glory and His will and His work. They're all about us, and yet our Lord is teaching us here to pray, and He says the first thing that should consume your mind, the first categories of prayer have to do not with you but with God.

There's another observation that stands out to me as we look at these six petitions, and that is that most of our prayers tend to fall in two of these categories. The need for things in this life, the needs of our human life here. We find ourselves praying for health and jobs and for others' health and surgeries, and all of those things, and there's nothing wrong with praying for those things. We also find ourselves praying often the confession of sin, seeking God's forgiveness. But I think most of our prayers tend to fall into those two categories. And they are good categories. They are important categories, but they are only two of six categories in which we are to pray. I'm afraid that our prayers are out of balance.

There's a third observation about these six requests, and that is the order in which Jesus puts them. Now the order is obviously in this order by design. He repeats it this way in both of the versions of The Lord's Prayer that we have recorded for us. And it tells us volumes about what should be the priority in our prayers. Our prayers should begin with, and be pre-occupied with God, with God and His glory; with God and His work; with God and His will. That's where our prayers should begin. And it's only when God has become our preoccupation in prayer that we are ready to bring up the things we need from Him. Now those are just some general observations about these six petitions. If the Lord wills, it's my plan and hope to spend a week on each of these six categories of prayer, because they are huge, sweeping categories that should consume our lives in prayer. I want to start today by looking at the first of these categories.

Category 1. We are to pray for the glory of God. Verse 9, "pray then in this way. Our Father Who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your Name." Now as we study this simple yet profound petition, I want us to ask and to try to answer three basic questions that I think will unlock our Lord's meaning here of this great petition. Three basic questions.

The first question, and the most obvious is What does it mean. What does it mean to pray "Hallowed be Your Name"? Hallowed is not a word we use. In fact, it's an old Anglo-Saxon word. It's only used in the New American Standard here and in Luke 11 where it's also used of The Lord's Prayer. The Greek word however, is a very common Greek word. It's often used in the New Testament to speak of sanctification. It simply means to sanctify. Sanctified be Your Name. It's the word that's often used of our own personal sanctification. Our growth in holiness. The word literally means to set apart, to make holy, or to treat as holy. It's usually used in both the Septuagint (now the Septuagint, for those of you who are new to our church) is a place where we can go to find the use of Greek words. The Septuagint was merely the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament that was in place before the birth of Christ. In the Septuagint, as well as in the Greek New Testament, this word "to sanctify" is usually used of things. That is, things that have been set aside for ceremonial purposes. Things that have been removed from mundane use and set aside for the use of God.

The vessels in the temple were sanctified in this sense. It's also used, this word "sanctify", of people. It's used of people who were consecrated or dedicated to God, or, like you and I, who are being sanctified, who are being made holy. We're called saints, or the sanctified ones in the New Testament. And only on rare occasions is this word sanctify used of God, as it is here in the Lord's prayer. One example in the Septuagint is Isaiah 8:13. "It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy, And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread." It's the Lord of hosts Whom you should sanctify, whom you should set apart or treat as holy. You should fear Him. And He should be your dread.

This morning we began with Leviticus 10. In Leviticus 10:3, in that great statement that Moses quotes from God "By those who come near Me, I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored." The Septuagint uses this word "to sanctify", "to hallow". I will be sanctified, I will be treated as holy. But then it also uses a Greek synonym, which gives us a little more insight into what this word means. The word that is translated in English "honored", I will be honored among all the people, in Leviticus 10:3, is the word that's usually translated "to glorify", to glorify. So, what Jesus is saying, I think, when He says pray, "Hallowed be Thy Name,"He's saying that we are to ask God to so work in our world that His Name will be set apart, that His Name will be treated as holy, that He will be glorified.

Now what does it mean for God's Name to be glorified? Well, our names really don't have any significance or meaning. They are merely labels. I'm Tom. That doesn't mean that you call me that, and that doesn't really mean anything. It's just a label to distinguish me from Bill or Bob.

But in the biblical world, a name was more than a label. Often it was intended to capture something of the character of the person, or the circumstances in which that child was born. When we talk about the Name of God here, hallowing God's Name, I think Thomas Watson the English Puritan is exactly right in his classic work on The Lord's Prayer, when he says to ask that God's Name be hallowed means really two things. We are speaking about God's person, His essence, and we're talking about everything or anything by which God is known. That is, all of His attributes and His acts. So, in other words, when we say, "hallowed be Your Name" sanctified be Your Name, we are saying, Father, may all that You are, and all that is associated with You be treated as holy, or be glorified.

This is absolutely permeating when it comes to the Scripture. Everywhere you turn in the Word of God you see this prayer, this wish, coming from the mouths of God's people. I literally had several pages of references as I studied this week. I'm just going to give you a couple of representative ones. In fact, I'll just give you one from myriads of references in the Old Testament.

Psalm 115 that we read this morning. Psalm 115:1, "Not to us, O LORD, not to us, But to Your name give glory…." This was the prayer of God's people. God, give glory to Yourself. We come to the New Testament. The apostle Paul constantly returns to this theme. Romans 11:36, He says, "… to Him be the glory forever. Amen." This isn't filler. Paul isn't throwing this in because he didn't know what to say, kind of like we add "sincerely" at the end of our letters. This was the deep prayer of the apostle. God, get glory to Your Name. Romans 16:27, "to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever."

He says the same thing in Galatians 1:5. But turn over to Philippians 4:20. He ends his letter by saying, "Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen." First Timothy 1:17, "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." Those are just a few samples of how Paul bursts forth with this wish, this prayer, this desire that God get glory to His Name. But it's not just Paul. You find it throughout the New Testament.

The writer of Hebrews ends his epistle in Hebrews 13:21. He says, may God, may Jesus our Lord, "equip you in every good thing to do His will … to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen…." Peter, in 2 Peter 3 ends his second epistle in verse 18 with these letters "… grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." Jesus' half-brother, Jude, concludes his letter in verse 25 of Jude, "to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, … before all time and now and forever." The apostle John comes to Revelation in Revelation 1:6 he speaks of our great God who has made us a kingdom and priests, who is God and Father. "… to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen." Through Jesus Christ God has made us this, and he says, may He receive the glory.

Let me ask you a question. Are you that concerned with the glory of God? Do you find yourself just bursting out in prayer and in thought with the wish and the prayer that God would get glory to Himself? Is this really the first thing we think about when we come to pray? This is what it means to pray, "hallowed be Your Name." Father, may all that you are and all that is connected with you be treated as holy. May it be glorified.

This brings us to a second crucial question, that if we can understand, I think it will revolutionize our prayers. Not only do we need to understand what does it mean, but the second question is, why is so important? Why is it so important? Why would Jesus tell us to start here? Well, we can learn a lot about how important it is to hallow God's Name by reflecting on those who didn't, and the consequences for those who did not hallow the Name of God. There are several examples in Scripture. As we look at them, we learn a lot about how important this really is, by God's response. We saw one of them as we began this morning in Leviticus 10. Look at Nadab and Abihu. These were the sons of Aaron, the nephews of Moses, already consecrated to be God's priests. And yet, when they refused to treat God as holy, what happened? Fire came out from the presence of God and incinerated them.

Look at Belshazzar in Daniel 5. The grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, the great head of gold. One of the world's greatest monarchs. Daniel comes to Belshazzar in Daniel 5, and he says, listen, God gave your grandfather Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty like no king has ever seen, and God brought him to recognize that He rules, that heaven rules. And he says but you, Belshazzar, who hardly deserve to be mentioned in the same breath, you have taken the vessels from the temple of God, and you have flaunted your arrogance in the face of God. You thumbed your nose at God Himself. You've essentially said, God, I know that you have prophesied that this great nation Babylon will fall to the Medes and the Persians, who are right outside my walls, but I'm going to bring the vessels of your temple and drink wine from them and praise the gods of gold and silver to show that I don't believe You even exist. And Daniel said, listen Belshazzar, the God Who holds your breath in His hands, you have not glorified. And because of that, tonight, you die and the kingdom goes away.

You turn to Herod, in fact let's turn to Acts 12. You turn to the New Testament, and we meet another king, Herod. Acts 12:21, "on an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them. And the people kept crying out, "The voice of a god and not of a man!" Every politician's dream. "And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died." Pretty ignoble end to what otherwise would have been a great day. Listen, God takes this very seriously.

You turn over a few pages to Romans 1, and you see this is true of all mankind. All unregenerate men have seen God's glory in the creation. Romans 1:20, They have seen His eternal power and His Divine nature. They've understood that He made them. But verse 21 says that "even though they knew God," [they saw His greatness, they saw His glory in His creation] "they did not honor Him as God." The word honor there is the same Greek word that is usually translated glorify. They did not glorify Him as God. God's greatest indictment against mankind comes back to his failure to give God glory. Instead of seeing the creation and giving God the glory He deserves, man decides instead to concoct a story about some nameless, faceless process through which all of this has come to be.

Turn to Revelation 16. You see the same story in the future. Revelation 16, in the time yet to come when God pours out His wrath in judgment on the earth. Revelation 16:8 speaks of these bowl judgments. The fourth angel poured out his bowl. Here are, as it were, little saucers that when tipped pour out the judgments of God upon the earth. And this one goes upon the sun. "and it was given to it to scorch men with fire." The sun, which is our source of comfort, in that it comes up every day. It's our source of heat and light, and it provides so many wonderful things for the earth. God allows it to unleash its fury with the fire. Verse 9, "Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues; and they did not repent, so as to give Him glory." Because of that, the bowls keep coming. The judgments keep coming. God destroys mankind because he refuses to give God glory.

Most of those that we have talked about are unbelievers. It's unclear about Nadab and Abihu. They may well have been unbelievers as well. But what about believers? Does God respond the same way to believers? You know, as I studied this week, I couldn't get over the fact that Moses (a man who spoke to God, God said he spoke to Moses as we speak with our friends; brought into the special counsels of God; spent 80 days on the top of Mount Sinai alone with God) [Moses] failed in this crucial matter. You remember what happened at Meribah when he struck the rock. Listen to what God said to him in Numbers 20:12: "But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the promised land which I have given them." God reiterates it again in Deuteronomy 32. He says to Moses, you will die on the mountain where you ascend, and be gathered to your people as Aaron your brother was because you broke faith with me in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah, because you did not treat me as holy in the midst of the sons of Israel. Listen, this matters every bit as much to God if we fail to treat Him as holy as if unbelievers do. Moses, the great servant of God, not allowed to enter the promised land because he failed to treat God as holy.

When you look at the consequences of not treating God in this way, of not glorifying Him, you can see how crucial this is to God. But we also know it's important to God because we learn in scripture that the glory of God, listen to this, The glory of God is the chief end of God. We know that it is for us. Man's chief end is what, to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. But it's also the chief end of God Himself. Think for a moment if you will, what are the two greatest acts that God has ever done? If you had to reduce everything that God has ever done to two great acts, what would it be? It would be creation and redemption. Well, listen to what the Bible says about why God created. Psalm 19:1, "The heavens are telling the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hand." We saw it in Romans 1:20 and 21, that the creation of the world was intended to communicate God and who He is, so that man would glorify God, and yet, he refuses to.

What about salvation? Well, Paul couldn't make that any clearer. Turn to Ephesians 1. You want to know why God in eternity past chose you for Himself. Why in time He interrupted your life, confronted you with your sin, drew you to Himself, gave you faith and repentance as a gift, gave you new life, declared you righteous, adopted you as His child, and one day will take you to glory? You want to know why all that happened? It wasn't about you. Yes, God loves you. That's the wonderful reality. He's our Father. He's adopted us. But what lay behind that great eternal plan? Ephesians 1:5, "He predestined us to adoption as sons" … "according to the kind intention of His will," why? "to the praise of the glory of His grace." Verse 12, All of these things happened, "to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory." Verse 14, the Holy Spirit is given as a pledge of our inheritance, "with a view to the redemption of God's own possession," [with the end being] "… the praise of His glory."

Listen, God acts in the world to get glory to Himself. Creation is a testimony to His glory. Redemption is a testimony to His glory. That's why this petition comes first. Because it's what's most important to God. When we pray Hallowed be your Name we are saying, God, sanctify, or set apart, or glorify Your Person. And anything by which You have made Yourself known. Jesus tells us to begin our prayers to the glory of God to show us that the glory of God is more important than anything else. It's more important than the needs of this life. It's more important than life itself. It's more important than even our spiritual needs. Think with me about this for a moment. In heaven, we won't need to ask for daily food because there will be no more hunger. In heaven, we won't need to ask for forgiveness because, thank God, there'll be no more sin. In heaven, we won't need to ask for protection from evil and for the growth in holiness because the evil one will be forever bound, and we will be like Jesus Christ.

But we will continue to hallow the Name of God forever. In fact, when you turn to Revelations 4 and 5 and John lets us see into the throne room of God, you see there in the presence of God the 24 elders and the angels and all of creation and all of the redeemed humanity is saying what, Worthy is the Lamb to receive what? Glory! This is why it's important, because there is nothing in life or time or eternity that is more important to God than this.

So, we've answered what does it mean to hallow the Name of God, to pray that His name be hallowed? We've answered why is it important? But there's a third crucial question that we need to ask and answer, and that's how does it happen?

How, exactly, is this request fulfilled? The ultimate answer is that it has to be an act of God. God causes His Name to be hallowed, or treated as holy. Remember that, "Hallowed be Thy Name is a prayer." It is our recognition that of ourselves, we do not have the power to accomplish this. We cannot in and of ourselves glorify God. Ultimately, only God can cause His Name to be glorified. But as I have often reminded you, the same God that decreed the "end" that His Name would be treated as holy, also decreed the "means" through which that would be accomplished. So, how exactly does God cause His Name to be hallowed in the world? What means does He use. Now, this is important for our study of The Lord's Prayer, and for this petition because when we pray this, when we ask God to glorify His name, or to set His Name apart, we are in reality asking God to do these things. To execute these things that He has said bring Him glory in the world. That's really what we are praying. Scripture tells us that these are the ways He gets glory to His Name in the world. So, when we pray, get glory to your Name, we are really saying, God, do these things.

Now, I went through the Scripture this week and, again, I was overwhelmed with material. But I tried to condense it into a few categories. Let me tell you that this is a good summary of how God glorifies Himself in the world. This is what we're praying for when we say that. First of all, God's Name is treated as holy, or sanctified, and this is the most obvious one.

Number 1, by speaking about God and His holy things with reverence. By speaking about God and His holy things with reverence. Exodus 20, you remember the third commandment, verse 7 says "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God" what? "in vain" for God will not hold him guiltless who takes His Name in vain. One way that we can treat God as holy, that we can separate Him, that we can make sure that we glorify Him is by handling His Name with reverence and respect. Do you find yourself during the week using the name of God or the name of Jesus in a way that does not bring Him honor? Are you treating Him as holy in how you use His Name? He doesn't take it lightly. I've never seen anyone killed in church, but God has done it before. He takes it that seriously.

Number 2. God's Name is treated as holy by praising, adoring, and thanking Him. And this is a theme throughout scripture. So much of the Psalms makes this point. We glorify God when we praise Him. When we thank Him. When we adore Him. In 2 Chronicles 5:13, the dedication of the temple. It says, "… when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the LORD saying, He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting, then the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud," with the glory cloud, with the manifestation, the physical manifestation, of the presence of God.

Listen, when you and I lift up praise to God either in prayer or in song, either privately or together as a church, when we praise and adore our God, we are bringing Him glory. We are glorifying His Name. Psalm 22:23, "You who fear the LORD, praise Him; All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And stand in awe of Him." Praise is the same thing as glorifying Him. Second Corinthians 4:15, "… [May] the grace which is spreading to more and more people cause the giving of thanks, and may that giving of thanks abound to the glory of God. When we praise God, when we adore God, when we give God thanks, we are glorifying God." Every time you and I lift up our hearts or our voices in the praise and adoration and thanksgiving of God, we are bringing Him glory. We are treating His name as holy.

Number 3. God's name is hallowed by thinking rightly of Him. By thinking rightly about Him. I read Isaiah 8:13 earlier. "It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy" [whom you should think of as holy, whom you should treat as holy,] "And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread."

Do you think rightly about God? Do you set Him apart in your thinking? The New Testament puts it this way. First Peter 3:15, "sanctify Christ as LORD in your hearts." Do you think rightly about Christ? Do you think rightly about God? When you think rightly about them, you bring glory to them. I'm afraid our view of God is often a terribly crippled and inadequate view of the glory of our great God. And when we think poorly of Him, we don't bring Him glory.

Number 4. We bring God glory by responding in faith to Jesus Christ and the gospel, by responding in faith to Jesus Christ and to His gospel. Listen, if you're here this morning, and you have never come in true repentance and faith to Jesus Christ, and embraced Him as your Lord, your Master and your Savior, then there's no way you can ever glorify God. This is where it starts. Jesus said, the one who wants to glorify my Father must honor Me, and the one who wants to honor Me must honor my Father. It's impossible for you to glorify God until you start here. In Romans 4:20 Paul writes of Abraham. It says, "… he did not waver in unbelief but [he] grew strong in faith…." He embraced the gospel and this gave glory to God.

It honors God when you and I understand that we can do nothing that will ever satisfy His just claims against us. And that we have no hope but to throw ourselves on His mercy and on the sacrifice of His Son. It honors God when we turn in repentance and faith and embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. First Peter 1:7 … the proof of your faith, … [will be] … found to result in praise and glory and honor … [when Jesus Christ returns at His revelation.]

Number 5. If you want to glorify God, you want to treat Him as holy, we do so by living lives of righteousness and faithful service. Living lives of righteousness and faithful service. Matthew 5:16, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." When we live the way we're supposed to live, when we do the things we are supposed to do, it causes God to be glorified. John 15:8, My Father is glorified by this, "that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples." Philippians 1:11, we've, "… been filled with the fruit of righteousness" and that results in the glory and praise of God. First Peter 2:12, "Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds … glorify God…." To treat God's Name as holy means that we live lives of righteousness and faithful service.

Number 6. Just a couple more. By loving other Christians and ministering to them. By loving other Christians and ministering to them. Romans 15:5, 6, Now may God … grant you to be of the same mind with one another, so "that with one accord, you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." It says as we dwell together as brothers and sisters in unity, loving each other, caring for each other, that God is glorified. First Peter 4:10 and 11, speaking of spiritual gifts, he says "As each one has received a special gift" to use in the church "employ it in serving one another" … "so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ…." We glorify God when we are active in the church using the gifts God has given us for the good of others.

Number 7. We hallow the Name of God by trusting in Him, even in our trials and persecutions. First Peter 4:16, "if anyone suffers as a Christian, he's not to feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God." When trouble and difficulty come, we are to so respond and trust in endurance that it brings glory to God.

Number 8. And finally, by committing to live for God's glory, by committing to live for God's glory. We can bring glory to God by deciding that this is how we are going to live. That we are going to do what we do for His glory. Have you ever made that decision? Have you ever decided I'm going to stop living for myself, and I'm going to make decisions on a daily basis asking myself what will bring God the greatest glory? To do that brings Him glory. First Corinthians 10:31, a verse as Christians we all know "Whether, then, you eat or drink…." Now Paul was talking here about Christian liberty, and he says whether you eat or don't eat, whether you drink or don't drink, whatever you do, all inclusive, "do all to the glory of God." He says make a decision that you're not going to live for yourself. You're going to live for God's glory.

This is, by the way, what distinguished David. I love 1 Samuel 17. In 1 Samuel 17 you have David's confrontation with Goliath. And you remember that famous speech he makes there on the battlefield with everybody watching. All the Philistines, all the Israelites watching, and in I Samuel 17:46 he says this, "This day" Goliath "the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth…." A great speech. Wouldn't you love to have made that speech?

Why, David. What's your motive? What's going on in your heart? Listen to how David finishes. He says I'm going to do all that in order that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly" [everybody here] "may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD's and He will give you into our hands." You know what distinguished David? You know what made him a man after God's own heart? This is what it was. What made David a man after God's own heart is that just as God cared for His own glory, David cared for God's glory. And that's what consumed him. And he put his life on the line for the glory of God. Are you going to commit to live for God's glory? If you will, that will bring glory to Him in and of itself.

When we pray "Hallowed be Your Name," we are praying that all those things, as well as many others by the way, that's just a few categories, will become a reality in our hearts and in our lives and throughout the universe. Let me challenge you. Let me challenge us all to begin most of our prayers by asking that God's Name would be hallowed. It's something like this. It's Lord, may your name be glorified. Starting in the prayer I'm about to offer You. May You be glorified in my heart, in my thoughts, in the words that I'll use today, in the actions that I commit today.

May Your Name be set apart and treated as holy in my marriage, in my family, in my neighborhood, in my work, in my church, in this city in which we live, in the nation. Lord, may Your Name be lifted up and exalted in all the earth.

And if we start here, then the rest of our prayers, the rest of our requests will fall into line. If our first concern, if our first priority is for the glory of God, then that will permeate the rest of our requests. Now, all of a sudden, we don't come to God demanding our own way, God, you've got to heal me. God, you've got to give me this job. Lord, you've got to save my husband. You've got to save my child. Although there's nothing wrong with praying for any of those things.

Instead, our prayer is, Lord, let me tell you what I want. This is my desire. I want these things. This is my longing, this is my heart, but more than I want these things, more than I want anything else, I want your Name to be glorified. The Lord has taught us to pray, and He says this is where true prayer really begins: Father, hallowed be Your Name.

Let's pray together.

Father, we come seeking your forgiveness. We are so self-focused. We are so selfish. We are so ignorant of what really matters. Father, help us to pray and to live, not for ourselves, but for your glory.

Father, I pray for the person here this morning who cannot live for your glory. They still live for their own. They've never truly repented. They've never been willing to turn from their sin and follow Jesus Christ. Lord, I pray that today would be the day when you would bring them to their knees, to the place of true repentance and true faith. That today, for the first time, they could cry out in reality, with sincerity, "hallowed be Your Name."

I pray that you would do this to the glory of Your Great Name. Amen.

Lord, Teach Us To Pray