Praying “Hallowed Be Your Name”

How? How to find words or ways to approach our holy, awesome, magnificent God?

Cap Lenten Journey Week Two

“Hallowed Be Your Name”

We often think of the word ‘Holy’ as meaning something that is “morally pure or good,” but the word actually means Separate, set apart, utterly different.” This prayer of Jesus establishes a paradox between our accessible heavenly Father, and the unapproachable Holy One in heaven who is entirely unlike us (or anything else we might imagine). Rather than comprehend Him, we are invited to cease our pondering and fall down in worship before the God who is the holy bonfire of love.  (Skye Jethani, What if Jesus Was Serious?)

Image credit: “Tsidkenu” by Jude McGillivray


by Anne Penner

“Hallowed be thy name.”

How? How to find words or ways to approach our holy, awesome, magnificent God?  We have been thinking of God as our Father: loving and caring. We are part of His family, we are His children — all-inclusive.

Now we are saying: Hallowed, holy, set apart, be Your name. Reveal yourself to us. Help us. You are beyond our comprehension, so much bigger, wider, deeper, higher than we can reach.

So perhaps I need to empty myself of my thoughts. Lay aside any efforts at ‘understanding’ or ‘figuring it out,’ and become as a little child; open and accepting.

As a child, I used to go to a little old church with big pews. I could climb up on the seat to stand to sing and see all the people there to worship. When it was time to pray, I climbed down, down, down to kneel. And then, I disappeared. There was just GOD. An awesome, all-encompassing Creator. Afire. Majestic. Set apart. HOLY.


What response do you have to the idea that God is both intimate and entirely ‘other?’ How might you offer your prayers, your worship, your own Self to this God who is closer than your next breath — and also the exalted holy one in heaven? Let your prayers this week include gratitude for the all-encompassing goodness and holiness of God.