In the first paragraph of the Lord’s Prayer, we read: “Hallowed be thy name . . .” What do these words mean and how might they enlighten our walk with God?


A. The phrase “hallowed be thy name” tells us something about the character of God. In fact, the names of God revealed in the Word of God reveal His character to us. The only way we can know God is through the many names by which He has revealed Himself to us. His names tell us Who He is!

B. In the Old Testament, God was commonly known by the name Jehovah. This is the name by which He revealed Himself to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exod. 3:14). There, we are told that this name means “I AM that I AM.” This phrase literally means, “I will become what I please.” The word translated “I AM” in Hebrew is Yavah. This word has the literal meaning of “the Becoming One.” It speaks of God as One whose will is supreme, whose purposes are certain, and whose word is unalterable.

C. This great name took many forms over the years, as different facets of God’s character were revealed to His people. Let me give you a few derivatives of the name Jehovah that the Jews used:

1. Jehovah-Jireh (Gen. 22:14): “The Lord will see to it” or “the Lord will provide.”
2. Jehovah-Nissi (Exod. 17:15): “The Lord is our banner” or “our victory.”
3. Jehovah-Shalom (Judges 6:24): “The Lord is our peace.”
4. Many other names of God are given in the Bible. He is called Elohim, which means “God.” He is called Jehovah-Elyon, which means “the Lord Most High.” He is called Jehovah-M’Kaddesh, which means “the Lord our sanctifier.” He is called El-Shaddai, which means “the all-sufficient One” or “the Almighty God.” He is called Adonai, which means “Lord.” He is also called "Father" - that is a name which blesses my heart!

God is called by many names, but the greatest of all His names is Jesus Christ. This is the God who took upon Himself human flesh, was born into this world, and died on the cross for our sins. His names reveal who He is and what He does for His people.

D. When we enter God’s presence in prayer, we are to take time to worship, honor, and praise Him for who He is. We are to lift heart, soul, and voice to the One who is God, the One who loved us, saved us, keeps us, and cares for us. We are to take the time to reverence Him and honor His hallowed Name.


A. When we come before the Lord in prayer, we face a decision. We can either focus our prayers around ourselves or we can center our thoughts on Him. The phrase “hallowed be thy name” expresses a desire on the part of the petitioner to bow before the Lord in humble submission and reverence. It expresses a desire to praise and worship before the Lord.

B. We can learn about reverencing God by looking at Jewish practices in the past. The ancient Jews had such reverence for the name of God that they would not say His name out loud. They created the name Yahweh from two of the Lord’s names so they could talk about Him without saying His name. They feared they might use His name in vain and thus be guilty of blasphemy (Exod. 20:7). Jewish scribes, who were engaged in the practice of copying the Word of God, were so respectful of His hallowed name that they would wash their bodies and change their pens before they wrote His name. After they had written His name, they destroyed that quill so that it could not be profaned by writing a lesser word. Many times, when referring to God, the Jews simply referred to “The Name.

Today, we need to learn the same degree of reverence for the hallowed name of God. Far too many people are guilty of taking His precious name in vain. Words like “Gosh,” “Golly,” “Gee,” “Gee whiz,” and “Cripes” are all derived from the names of God and Jesus. Be careful, little tongue, what you say! How many times have we heard—or said—”Oh God!” or “Oh my God!” or “Jesus!” or any of a thousand others just like those? Even Christians are guilty of saying things like, “Oh, Lord!” or “My God!” We’ve all done it, but it is degrading to the Lord’s name to throw it around so casually. His name is a hallowed name, and it is to be treated with respect and reverence. 

C. We must come before Him with a burning desire to lift His glorious name in praise. If you do nothing else when you pray, you should at least learn to enter His presence to worship His name. After all, when you worship and hallow His name, you are worshiping and hallowing God Himself! We must pray within the parameters of His will, never asking for anything that would dishonor His name.


A. That prayer, “hallowed be thy name,” speaks of who God is. It also expresses a desire on the part of the one praying to worship Him for who He is and what He has done. I think it is also a petition for help in living out His holiness in our daily lives. There is no greater disservice done to the great and hallowed name of God than what is done by those who claim to love and worship Him when their lives are less than they should be!

B. Our greatest desire should be to live in such a way that the world sees Jesus revealed in us (Matt. 5:16). Our very lives are to hallow His name.

We should be able to write over every area of our lives the inscription “Hallowed be thy name.” When we cannot write that inscription over an area of our lives, that area must be changed and brought under the subjection of God’s will.

C. “Hallowed be thy name” is a prayer for God to be glorified by all that we are and in all that we do (1 Cor. 10:31). God’s name is already holy, and we cannot make it any more so. The only way we can hallow His name is through the lives we live. Is that the kind of prayer that you can honestly pray today?


That little phrase, “Hallowed be thy name,” is a call for us to reverence the Lord by honoring Him for who He is; respecting Him and worshiping Him when we pray; and living out His perfect will in our daily lives. How are you doing in the area of hallowing His name? If there are areas that need work, then I invite you to bow before the Father and ask Him to teach you how to hallow His name for His glory!

General Conference Ministerial Association