Matthew 6:9: “Pray then in this way, Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed by Your name.”
This passage contains Matthew’s version of what is known worldwide as the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus has recently been telling His listeners how not to pray. They shouldn’t pray in order to impress other people or mindlessly fill the air with words in hopes of impressing God (Matthew 6:5–8).
What Jesus has just said (Matthew 6:7) makes it clear He did not mean these words to become a mantra, a chant, or the only words anyone ever prays to God. Many people have found reciting the Lord’s Prayer to be meaningful both individually and together in churches—which is fine when understood correctly. Christ primarily means this sample prayer as an example of how to talk to God in a meaningful and effective way.
He begins by demonstrating that believers should address God as “Our Father in heaven.” Jesus came, in part, to make it possible for mankind to be in relationship with God the Father through faith. To resist a relationship with God the Father, even in prayer, is to resist Jesus’ will for His followers. This reference to God as “Father” also separates Christian prayer from many other faiths: to begin a prayer with the equivalent of “Our Father in heaven” is unthinkable for non-Christians.
The second phrase in Christ’s model prayer expresses praise for something true about God: that His name is “hallowed,” which can also be translated as “Your name is holy.” Names are highly significant in Scriptures and the “name of God” brings with it unlimited power and purity. Proclaiming to God that His name is holy is to acknowledge His absolute greatness.
A note here that I hadn’t thought of before. To reference God as “Father” also separates Christian prayer from many other faiths; to begin a prayer address a Father in heaven, kind of amazing. And yes, unthinkable for non-Christians.
Another note said this about this first line of the prayer; The prayer here is a model, not merely a liturgy. It is notable for it’s brevity, simplicity and comprehensiveness. Of the 6 petitions in the prayer, 3 are directed at God and 3 towards human needs. Just an interesting side note.
Hallowed means to be kept sacred or revered. This sets God’s name apart from anything else in the world and in our lives. Above all. In all. Beyond all. Through all.
Hallowed be thy name.