Hallowed be thy name. Recognize those words? They are the second line (and the first request) in the most famous prayer of all time, the Lord’s Prayer. But do you know what they mean? (Would you bet your cell phone on your answer?) Hallowed? Not exactly a word we use, well, ever! Is it like . . . Hallow-een? Is it . . . the way British gentlemen greet one another? Hallow! Isn’t it . . . the name of the last Harry Potter book?
Let me help. Hallowed is a verb that technically means “to honor as sacred.” But I prefer this definition—“to think of someone as wonderfully different.” In this case, God’s name (what we think about God). That helps me understand Jesus’ famous prayer. The very first thing to pray for, even before daily bread and forgiveness of sins, is for help to think of our Father as wonderfully different. Because if I think of God as different from everything I love in this life, as infinitely better than the best parts of my days, then my soul gets stirred up to worship.
Like this—“Father, open my eyes to see that you are more beautiful than the sun coming up. You are more faithful than my golden retriever. You are more exciting than a last-second touchdown pass. You are more captivating than the little toes of my newborn granddaughter. You are more enjoyable than perfectly cooked pasta. You are more forgiving than my best friend. In a million ways, Father, you are more. You are different. Wonderfully different.”
That’s what Jesus meant when he taught, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9).