Worship • Devotion #3: First Name
Debbie Kerr | Office Administrator
“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name.” Matthew 6:9
My dad taught the Dale Carnegie course for many years. He not only taught it, but he also lived it! One of the first principles in the book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” is the concept of addressing everyone you come in contact with by their first name. According to Mr. Carnegie, there is no sweeter sound to someone’s ears than the sound of their name. The first assignment in the class was to put this principle into practice and the following week give a two-minute talk on the results. The testimonies were often astounding as people shared their results. People would come alive and change their demeanor or attitude when they were personally recognized and noticed. While addressing someone by their name is effective and important, nothing compares to the power and importance of addressing our Heavenly Father by His holy name in our prayers and petitions to Him.
In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus begins teaching the disciples how to pray, but first he had to show them how not to pray. Starting in verse 5, He said “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.’” He then continues the prayer that is known as The Lord’s Prayer. You will notice that the first part of prayer is acknowledging God as, “Our Father.” He is a personal, approachable, loving, caring Father. Romans 8:15 adds, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!’” Abba means Daddy; He is our Heavenly Daddy!
The second part of the phrase, “hallowed be your Name,” acknowledges His name as holy and sacred, it is to be revered, it is not to be used casually, lightly, or in vain! When we pray, we are to start off with worship and adoration. He alone is worthy of our praise! While we are to approach Him in reverence, we do not have to approach Him in fear. Hebrews 4:16 (AKJV) says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We do not have to go through a pastor or a priest; we can boldly go straight to the Throne of God.
We are not only to acknowledge His holiness in our prayers, but also through our lives. Worship is a lifestyle; it is not just reserved for an hour on Sunday. Everything we do, whether in word or deed, is to bring glory to God and exalt His name which is above every other name.
“And you will say in that day: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.’” Isaiah 12:4