“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name’” (Matthew 6:9 NIV)
God’s will is a prominent topic in prayer. We have things we desire that we pray will be in God’s will.
Also, we may be surrendered to God’s will but do not know it in this or that given situation. So when we pray, we pray for God’s will to be done. We don’t know what it is, but we trust God and evidence that trust by praying for his will to prevail.
Then we have the act of praying God’s will. In this case, we know God’s will in a given situation. It has been revealed to us in scripture. So we pray about it specifically and pointedly, that God’s will may be done in this or that circumstance.
In the first petition Jesus teaches us, we have the opportunity to pray for something to become a lived truth that is clearly communicated in scripture as within God’s will: honoring and keeping holy God’s name.
We find this expectation from God clearly articulated in the third of the Ten Commandments.
“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” (Deuteronomy 5:11 NIV)
Thus, the prayer that Jesus taught practices “praying the scriptures” from the beginning. God desires that his name be properly honored and revered. Don’t attach God’s name to something that God’s not into.
Praying for God’s name to be “hallowed” is praying in positive terms (“hallowed be”) what is stated in the commandment from a negative direction (“You shall not misuse”). So, in case we lack clarity from the Ten Commandments about the importance of honoring God’s name, in being taught to pray for it, we may be (doubly) certain. Plus, we see in practice what praying for the clearly revealed will of God looks and sounds like.
Prayer: God, thank you for teaching that if something is important enough to obey in a commandment, it is worthy of our praying for it as well. Help me to avoid misuse of your name and actively to honor it. Amen.