What if we sincerely prayed the meaning of the Lord’s prayer?
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, but you didn't know her name? This can make for a very awkward situation, especially if you have interacted with the person multiple times. You may need to work around the conversation or word things carefully because you are missing a key piece of the person’s identity. Things would be so much more natural if only you knew her name!
Similarly, when you pray to God, do you know to whom are you speaking?
Similarly, when you pray to God, do you know to whom are you speaking? God’s name is integral to His character, so it is important to know who God is as we communicate with Him. Jesus teaches us to pray,
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name.” Matthew 6:9
Heaven is a place where God rules and a condition of being completely under God’s rule. God doesn’t make you a robot; He wants you to choose Him. If you allow Him to guide and direct your life, you will begin to experience more and more of heaven.
A name is an indication of God’s nature, character, reputation, and identity.
Hallow: to make holy
In biblical times, a person’s name represented his character, identity, and reputation. A person could not be separated from his name. In our modern culture, there are certain circles in which it is inappropriate to say Jesus’ name. This is because Jesus’ name has meaning and power!
Holy means “set apart.” In a Catholic church, the holy water has nothing added to it to make it different or special, but it is set apart for a special purpose. Like this, God’s name is holy – set apart and honored above all other names. When you honor and revere God’s name as set apart, you acknowledge that you are not coming to Him as a peer, for there is no one else like Him; He is above everyone, the one God supreme, holy and set apart.
We have a role in acknowledging God’s name as holy, but God also has a role in establishing his name as holy. You can’t increase or decrease God’s holiness. You can simply acknowledge, respect and honor His holiness or not.
What does God do to make His name holy? He must consistently and completely fulfill the meaning of His names.
If you cut open an orange, you find an orange inside 100% of the time. This is because the orange has no choice as to what its inside or outside looks like; everything God made has integrity all the time, being consistent inside and out – except for people. People are the only created beings that sometimes show something different on the outside than what is on the inside.
Like His creation, God is consistent all of the time. He is holy and can never not be who He is. He can’t be stopped or altered by anyone. He will always be worthy of worship, 100% of the time. He never changes.
God’s biblical names fall into two categories: compound names that begin with “El” (“God,” telling us about His character) and compound names that begin with “Yahweh” (“The Lord,” revealing the relationship He wants to have with us and how he wants to act on our behalf.)
Elohim: (El) Plural of El or God; the strong one. Genesis 1, Exodus 18:11
Yahweh: “I AM THAT I AM.” Exodus 3
(Yahweh Elohim: The Lord is God.)
El-Shaddai: God Almighty. Genesis 17
Yahweh Shammah: God is here. Ezekiel 48:35 (When you feel alone, acknowledge that God is here with you because he can’t not be – that is His name!)
El Roi: The God who sees. Genesis 16:13 (He sees everything about your life all the time.)
Yahweh Jireh: The Lord who provides. Genesis 22:14 (He can’t not provide – it’s who He is!)
Yeshua: (Jesus) Yahweh saves. Matthew 1:21 (Saving is who He is and what He does.)
Yahweh Ropheka: The Lord who heals. Exodus 15:26
Yahweh M'Kaddesh: The Lord who sanctifiies. Exodus. 31:13
Yahweh Tsid Kenu: The Lord our righteousness. Jeremiah 33:16
Yahweh Nissi: The Lord our banner. Exodus 17:15
Yahwe Elyon: The Lord most high. Genesis 14:19
Yahweh Shalom: The Lord is peace. Judges 6:24
God’s names tell us who He is and how He wants to act on your behalf. He desires to be your hero, savior, provider, transformer of your life, and all you have to do is acknowledge your own sin and His holiness, accepting His free gift of forgiveness and salvation!