First of all we should discuss why we should hallow His name? There are several reasons to hallow His name. Two reasons stand out to me. First, the most obvious reason is because He deserves it. He is God and He is holy; therefore we ought to treat Him as holy. He is the one that is high and lifted up. Hence we ought to cry out daily (in our mind or even verbally) as the angels do, saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory” (Is. 6:1-3).
A second reason to treat God as holy is so that others around us will treat Him as holy, and likewise, believe and obey Him. For when we show God (or anyone) respect, others who observe us will tend to follow our example (Heb. 13:7). But when we disrespect God (or anyone), those around us likewise will tend to follow our poor example.
It is especially important that leaders respect God, because they are the ones that we all look up to as role models and who we tend to believe and trust. Hence, God places on them a much greater accountability (Heb. 13:17).
Moses and Aaron were great leaders; and they gave to the people of Israel (and to us) a very good example of holiness. But when they did not follow God’s instructions to the letter by striking the rock instead of speaking to it (Num. 20:7-12), God regarded that act of disobedience as a huge sin. For in their disobedience they gave to the people a bad example, and were in effect leading them to disrespect God and to regard Him as less than perfect in holiness. Consequently, by this act of disobedience they were not allowed to enter the Promised Land.
Whether we are leaders or not (we all are leaders in some sense) we ought to give heed to this story of Moses and Aaron. For it shows us most dramatically how important it is to hallow God’s name.
How to hallow His name. In order to hallow God’s name we must first understand that we can not do it by ourselves. He hallows His own name through us. If left to ourselves we will always fail; we will always deny God.
Therefore, God must intervene. And He has intervened throughout history. For when Israel sinned and was scattered, God granted them repentance and forgiveness, and restored them to the land that He promised them. Thus, by His continuing forgiveness and restoration, and by the fulfilling of His promises to Israel, He sanctified His great name among the nations. And He did it not for their sake but for His sake (Read Ezek. 36:22 ff.).
And He does it yet for us. We go astray constantly, but He is always faithful to forgive us and restore us to fellowship. Again, He does it not for our sake but for His own reputation—so that others will look at us and say, “Look, they are the people of God whom God loves and whom He delivers and cares for.”
Now, if God hallows His name through us, what can we do to allow that to happen? What can we do to become a channel of His glory? If you think about it, the answer is easy: you have to be yielded and submissive to Him. You have to be willing to do all that He wants you to do. Mainly, we have to be models of His glory and holiness. Just as He has been a model of holiness to us, we must be a model of holiness to others—a model that reflects His holiness. For, in fact, we represent Him; and His holiness shines through us. Hence, it turns out that whenever we are obedient in holiness we glorify Him and hallow His name. Therefore, with our lips let us always be holy in our conversation; with our mind let us reject all evil thoughts and think on things that are good and pure; and with our whole body let us do all our work to please and glorify God.
How to pray for His name to be hallowed. If you recall our conversation earlier about the composition of this Lords prayer, I pointed out that Jesus meant it to be just an outline of prayer. Therefore, when you pray for His name to be hallowed, never be satisfied to just say, “Hallowed be Your name.” Instead pray in your own words what you believe these words mean. Expand them as much as you can. Here are six points to guide you and give you some ideas of how to unfold and enlarge this first petition:
1. Begin to thank and praise God for His holy character.
2. Thank Him for showing you, and the entire world, His holiness. Thank Him for all the ways He has hallowed His name, especially through you—by saving you, forgiving you, and by sanctifying you. And then thank Him for hallowing His name by granting repentance and sanctification to all those He has chosen to believe in Him (Ezek. 36:16-24).
3. Next, ask Him humbly to continue to hallow His name through people as He promised He would according to His New Covenant (Ezek. 36: 16-27, Jer. 31:31-34). Ask Him to cleanse you from all your filthiness and idols (Ezek. 36:25, Eph. 5:26-27). Ask Him to give you (and all who repent) a new heart and a new spirit (Ezek. 36: 26, 2 Cor. 5:17), and to put His own spirit within you, and cause you to walk in His statutes (Ezek. 36: 27, Gal. 5:16, Rom. 8:9).
4. Ask Him to show you His own holiness. Pray that you would see His holy nature in the Word of God, in people, and in all of His creation.
5. Pray that God would help all believers to desire His holiness; that we would make it our aim to be holy like Him; that the Word of God (which shows us His holiness) would reign supreme in our heart so that we will believe and obey Him in everything, and so we will be filled with the glory of God.
6. Petition that the Father would help all believers to properly honor, esteem, revere, and regard His name as holy; that He would help us to separate Him and ourselves from earthy, sinful things; and that we would exalt Him above all the evil things of this world.