While teaching His disciples to pray, Jesus begins by telling them, “Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). Do we, today, truly pray for these? Oh sure, with our mouths we do, but do we pray for these from the depths of our hearts? You might be convinced we do, but I’m not so certain.
To “hallow” means to honor as holy, to set apart, and to revere. It’s to set Him as the supreme focus, and to not treat His name or presence flippantly. For His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven would require persons to genuinely be focused on Him and what pleases Him. It would require for us to surrender to Him as the Sovereign, taking ourselves, our desires, and our preferences out of the equation.
But is God truly hallowed among us when we are so concerned and distracted by the things of this world; when the music is more about the production, the delivery, and often about us; and when God must share the spotlight with Super Bowl Sunday?
Concerning His will, what if His will is green carpet rather than blue? What if He desires an organ rather than a band or vice versa. What if His will means for us to be poor or to suffer? What if He desires for you or I to be a missionary to Africa or to teach a class in the slums? How can His will be done on earth as it is in heaven when so many in churches are arguing why God says some things are considered sin and casting doubt on His Word (which explains His will)? How can His will be done when, too often, we’re more concerned about offending others than we are about offending God? Or if we’re more concerned about growing churches numerically that we’ll dilute the teachings, rather than grow the faithful in authentic godliness?
The only way we’ll sincerely pray for God and His name to be hallowed and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven is if we get serious about God and our faith in Him. But the only way this will happen is if we are willing to confess our religious shallowness, insincerity, and hypocrisy, and ask for renewal of our hearts and spirits. And this must, for each of us, begin with ourselves.