Dr. Ed Young - Hallowed be Thy Name
Open your Bibles to Matthew Chapter Number 6. I'll read Verse 5 and 6. Then I'll read Verse 9. Matthew 6:5-6, 9. Ready! "When you pray, you're not to be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, your closet, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you". What He's saying here is, who you are in secret, who I am in secret-go to bed, what do you think about? Wake up, what do you think about? Quiet times, by yourself, what do you think about? That's the center of your life.
Who you are, who I am is best seen in secret. What do you think about? What do you think about? What do you think about? And then Verse 9: Jesus says, "Pray then in this way: 'Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name". The first followers of Jesus were like a bunch of kids, just like a bunch of kids. Jesus went up to them, and they were fishing, engaged I'm sure in their family vocation, and Jesus said, "Follow Me"! They didn't know much about Him, and they put their nets down and just sort of, the Bible seems to say, spontaneously followed Jesus like a bunch of kids. Another'd happen, "Follow Me, follow Me, follow Me..." and they followed Him.
How old were those guys? I don't know, maybe older teenagers; maybe early twenties, mid-twenties, maybe a few in their early thirties, but they were like a bunch of kids. And I wonder if they asked-in fact, I know they asked in their mind, "What is it going to be like in the future for me to be a follower of this Man? What's gonna happen in the future as I follow this Man"? They could never have guessed, could they? Not in a million years! Because as they followed Jesus, those Apostles, disciples, they went from one mind-boggling experience to another. Blind man-whew! Now he sees. Wow! Oh-ho, whoa! Lame woman-now she walks! Whooaaaah! Whoah! Wait a minute! Storm-brrrrooomm! Quiets the Heavens... Hmmm, mind boggling! Mind boggling...
That was their experience as followers of Jesus. And then they saw that sometimes they would eat a meal and they were camping out as they were traveling, primarily through Galilee early on; and they'd look up and they'd say, "Where's the Master"? And they'd say, well, He's gone to pray. "He'll be praying all night..." Hhmm... They'd be walking down the road, and He'd walk on ahead, and they'd say, "Well, what's His hurry"? And they said, "Oh, look, He's got that crazy look. He's praying..." Then He would lag back as they were walking, and they'd say, "What's He doing back there"? "Well, He's talking to the Father. He slipped away over there behind those rocks on the mountain". "What's he doing"? "He's praying".
This went on all the time. There was this private time Jesus had with the Father, and the public time He administered the supernatural. And naturally, they began to ask, "Man, what's His secret"? And they saw and discovered it was prayer. Now they were all familiar with praying. Did you know the pious Jew would pray three times a day? They would pray in the morning, the Shema. They had seventeen different petitions they would offer to God as a ritual, seventeen of 'em. Count 'em. So they knew about prayer. They prayed all their life. Jesus, I'm sure all His life, prayed those seventeen petitions every day. But they saw in Jesus a kind of praying that was, could I say it-out of this world! And so they went to Him, according to Luke, Chapter 11 and said, "We want to learn how to pray like that". And so Jesus gave them a pattern of prayer that we're going to look at.
Now somebody may be saying, "We're studying the Lord's Prayer, that's the only thing in the Bible, that I really know. I don't need to study the Lord's..." Let me tell you something. I have preached and taught on the Lord's Prayer dozens of times. But in preparation for this study, I haven't looked at one word, or one note that I've taken in all the years of studying the Prayer. I started clean and fresh. And God shows us things. You can take the same Scripture and study it, and pray over it, and meditate; read commentaries, ask people go to Bible studies, and suddenly you'll pick it up one day, and it's like whewwwww! So we come here and see that Jesus taught them how to pray and how important it is that we learn how to pray.
Let me say two things to you. If you really pray, these two things have to be in place, okay? You can say words, rituals, go through the motions... but if you really pray, you have to have two things operating. Number one, you have to know Who God Is. Number two, you have to know who you are. Got that? You can't pray unless you know Who God Is, and you can't pray unless you know who you are. So you have to know God, and you have to know yourself. And look what it says, "Our Father..." Look at all the plural, personal pronouns in the prayer. "Our, us, us, we..." Not in the Lord's Prayer do you find one single, singular personal pronoun. You don't say "My Father". No, you don't find "My Father". "My debts..." "My..." It's not there. It's all plural. It's "Our..." It's a corporate prayer. It's not only a corporate prayer-we say "our". Guess what?
Jesus is praying with us. Who gave us this prayer? Jesus. He's saying, "Our..." we pray with Jesus. That's the only way to pray anyway. We can't get to the Father except through Jesus, and now Jesus says, "How do you pray"? We pray "Our". Jesus prays with you and me when we pray. I get excited about that when I think about it. I mean, Jesus is praying with us, "Our Father..." And we can't pray unless we have a relationship, a personal relationship with the Father, and the only way we have that is through Jesus Christ. So we begin to see Who God Is, and we pray to the True and Living God, and that changes everything about our prayer, doesn't it?
So we have to know Who God is. Also, we have to know ourselves. There's a task! Why do you think God sent His Son into the world? Well you say, "Oh, I know that one! I've been to church-to save me". No, He sent His Son in the world primarily to make out of you and me a worshipper. Did you know that? Our first thing we are to be is a worshipper! Christ came and took a bunch of rebels and made us into worshippers! That's what we are to be, worshippers. You say, "Well, what does it mean to worship"? Hallowed be Thy Name. That's the beginning step of worship. How do you like the word hallowed? Have you used that lately? Now it's a kind of an old-fashioned word. It's an Anglo-Saxon word. It comes from the English word, "Hale" H.A.L.E. Say, "I don't know that word". Oh yes you do! We say to somebody, "How are you doing"? "Well, I'm hale and hearty"! There it is!
Now what does it mean to be hale? It means to be holy. It means to be separate. It means to be solid. It means to be complete. So you say, "How are you doing"? "I'm complete. I'm holy. I'm solid. I've got it all together. I'm unique. I'm complete". All this is involved in the word, hallowed. In our translations, most of 'em, even the new modern translation, they still use the word hallowed. And some of them have reverend, reverent, "Reverent be Thy Name..." uh, "Unique be Thy Name", "Special be..." But you can't beat hallowed. Hallowed... Because this leads us to worship.
Now what is worship? Simple definition. By the way, if you ever write anything down, this might be what to write down, but I don't want to upset anybody. Worship is to feel in your heart. It's to feel in your heart, and to respond with wonder, awe, and humility. It's to feel in your heart and to respond with "Aahh! Ohh, ahh!" and wonder, and humility. You meet God, and God meets you! Worship. Did you know we were all built to be worshippers? That's the primary reason God sent His Son into this world to clean up our act on the Cross of Jesus Christ so we're able to worship? Have a Divine appointment with God to worship? We are called primarily-you say, "Who am I"? I'm a worshipper, if I'm in Christ. Who is God? He is a Father, our Father.
So we know Who God Is, and we know that we are worshippers; but in our society, how we have moved away from being worshippers. How far we've moved away from that. There is Moses in the wilderness, remember? All the people were thirsty. They were dying, and God said, "Moses! Speak to the rock..." and Moses took that rod and struck the rock. Water came forth, but God says, "Moses, you have responded to My sacred request in a very personal, secular way in striking that rock. Moses, guess what? You're not going to go to the Promised Land". His whole life was about going to the Promised Land. His whole reason for being alive was to lead the children into the Promised Land, but because he responded to a sacred request in a selfish, violent, personal, secular way-bang! He was prohibited. He was prohibited...
Did you read in the paper about in a rural church, a young kid went in there and took a stick and just smashed everything? Did you read that? He just smashed up everything he could find in church in anger? Just smash, smash, smashed up, broke up the whole church. The reason was, he came from a tough family. He had a problem with anger, and he wanted to go on a church picnic-miss-communication; he didn't get to go. So he went in there and just smashed up the church. Say, "Well, that's a horrible thing, the place that's set aside for God's business to be smashed like that..." But we realize that you and I are in the smashing business. We take sacred things; they become secular. We have smashed up sacred relationships, have we not? Marriage is a covenant-sacred. And we've taken marriage and made it secular and say, "I'm just ready to move on..." Or we say the dumbest thing of all, "I just don't love you anymore"! Pwoo!
As if love is a feeling instead of an action... We've smashed... We've smashed through a relationship between parents and children. Children are to honor and respect their parents. Honor and respect... and there is the Biblical promise, "Long will you, be your days on this earth, the Lord thy God has given you..." When you respect and honor, it's a commandment with promise, and we are to respect and honor our parents, even when they're wrong; even if they're out of base; even if you are 81 and they're a 103! The respect and honor is there. We have taken and smashed sacred relationships. And we've smashed sacred days.
Did you know in the Commandments, there's more written about the Sabbath than any other Commandment? Than any other Commandment... and we're in the New Sabbath. We're in the Resurrection Day of Sunday, and therefore, we should keep this day sacred. The Scripture says we're to take one day out of seven and set it aside, and it's God's Day. But what have we done? We have squeezed the secular into Saturday night. It goes on and on, and then Sunday...now we have all kinds of games, and Little League, and activities, and Sunday afternoon-my goodness, there's always something going on. So we have squeezed out the sacred with the secular, and we forget that that first day of the week is a Holy Day. We've smashed Sunday. Also, we have smashed the Sacred Name. It is amazing to me when I hear people take God's Name in vain.
Let me tell you something-when that happens, you're in deadly barracuda waters with sharks spinning around, smelling your blood because God knows that you've not taken His Name and made it sacred, and that's a big, big problem! We can't do it. You say, "Well, how are we going to change? I'm not a worshipper, really. I, you know, when I... I'm not a worshipper. How can I feel in my heart and respond to the Presence of God with awe, and with wonder, and with humility? I want to do that. How can I change"? By praying. By praying, "Hallowed be Thy Name" where you recognize that all of life is sacred. God doesn't look down and say, "Oh, that's secular! Oh no, no, this is sacred".
That's how we think. Oh no. God sees the whole created order. He sees all of us as potentially sacred in that everybody was created in His image! That's tremendous, isn't it? We come to Christ-that image is beginning to be restored, and we become sacred. Everything we touch can be sacred. Second World War-Wallace is the only one here to remember that, old enough. In the Second World War, Hitler came and bombed the Coventry Cathedral there in England. And it was totally destroyed, and it was left there in ruins, and totally outdoors, and they went; somebody put a sign on the altar of it. It said, "Father, Forgive Them".
And then in this Cathedral, they had these little chapels, these little alcoves here, and here, and here, and here, all these little chapels all the way around it. And they put signs outside this chapel over here, and it said, "Hallowed be Thy Name" in business. Another one said, "Hallowed be Thy Name" in arts. "Hallowed be Thy Name" in family relationships. "Hallowed be Thy Name" in sports. "Hallowed be Thy Name..." and it went all around that chapel, saying simply that in every activity of life, His Name must be hallowed, hallowed. What would happen to anybody here? Pick out any of us and say, "In every aspect of my life or your life, His Name can be hallowed". You can sign His Name to it. Say, "Well, you know, I've got some business deals I put my name to, but I don't want to put His Name to".
You know, "I turn in my travel expenses. You know, everybody pads 'em. I put my name; I don't want to put the Hallowed Name to it". You know, "I have this relationship that you know, my name is on it. I'm a part of it, but you know, I can't bring Christ. I can't put the Name of God, the Name of Jesus to that... I want to keep that sort of my own mono... my own property there..." You see, if we take all of our life, whatever we do, wherever we are and say in the sense, "Hallowed be Thy Name..." everything we do is hallowed! Hallowed be Thy Name in education. Oh, what a difference. Hallowed be Thy Name in music. What a difference. Hallowed be Thy Name in what we read. Hallowed be Thy Name in what we watch. Hallowed be Thy Name on the Internet. Hallowed be Thy Name!
You see what a difference that would make? God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, so we could pray, "Hallowed be Thy Name"! And if you and I can pray, really pray "Hallowed be Thy Name" it means we know Who God Is, and we know who we are. We are worshippers, and we're praising Him by hallowing, making special His very Name! Let me give you the whole Gospel, the whole Good News of what Christianity is all about in a different way. Listen to this: The highest became the lowest so the lowest can become the highest. Did you get that? He who was the highest came all around to you and me who are the lowest so that you and me who are the lowest may go all the way up to Him who is the highest. That's Christianity. Hallowed be Thy Name!
S. D. Gordon has a little book, old book on prayer. And in this book, he tells a story of a 14-year old boy who cut class for three days. And finally in the fourth day, the teacher called, thought he was sick and said, "How's Steven doing"? And they said, "What do you mean"? Mom and dad found out. I don't know how moms and dads find out. It worried me my whole life. And so they brought Steven in. They said, "Steven, it's a terrible thing. You've cut class these three days. You know that, don't you"? "Yes sir". "But Steven, more serious than you cutting class is you've lied about cutting class". He said, "If you lie, you can't be trusted, and there's nothing worse in life than to run into a liar, because a liar just can't be trusted".
And they said, "Steven, you understand that..." "Yes sir..." "And Steven, we're trying to figure out an appropriate punishment for you. You're 14, and your mom and I've decided for the next three nights as you cut school for three days, you're going to spend, when you come home from school, all the time in the basement by yourself. You're gonna sleep down there; you're gonna eat down there; you're gonna be in the basement for three days when you're at home, and three nights". Said, "Yes sir..." "First night, Steven goes down. Parents are trying to read, and the father keeps-You know, I don't know why my eyes are so watery tonight. I just..."
And the mother's over there fidgeting around, picking up, and she says, "I'm thinking about Steven down in the basement..." and said, "Yeah, yeah..." He said, "I am too..." They went to bed about 12:00 o'clock, tossing and tumbling. He says to her, "Are you awake"? Husbands and wives understand that, don't you? You know when the other one's awake. "Are you awake"? She said, "Yes". Said, "I can't sleep thinking about Steven. I wonder if he's frightened down there, sleeping in the basement". She said, "I'm doing the same thing". About quarter til' three, he woke up and sort of dozed off, and woke up, and dozed off, and quarter to three, he saw her turning and said, "You awake"? She said, "I haven't been to sleep at all..." He said, "I'm going down in the basement and spend the night with Steven".
So he picked up his pillow and his blanket, went down the steps into the basement. Steven was on his bed. He hadn't been to sleep. He could see he'd been crying, and the father went down and lay down by Steve and put his arm around him. And their tears mingled on each other's cheek, and he said, "Steven, your punishment stands. You're gonna be down here these three days and three nights" but he said, "Steve, I'm gonna be down here with you. I'm gonna be down here with you".
God woke up one night, picked up His pillow, picked up His blanket and said, "I'm going down in the basement. I'm going down in the basement with all of those who are down in the basement, and I'm gonna to provide a way, not with a blanket and a pillow, but with a Cross and three stakes. I'm gonna identify with them on that Cross. As they will die spiritually, I will die physically and take their punishment upon myself". The highest became the lowest so that we who are the lowest in the basement may be elevated with a clean life to the highest! If you and I can really pray, really pray, "Hallowed be Thy Name", we know Who God Is, and we know who we are, worshippers. God is Abba Father. You and I are worshippers, and we celebrate the fact that He who was the highest came down to the lowest in the basement-that's all of us, so we will be forgiven and cleansed, and we can go up to the highest! Hallowed be Thy Name!