“This is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name.” (Matthew 6:9)

This is the first sentence of what is now called the Lord's prayer. Here are the various translations among the Biblical versions:

King James:
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.

New King James:
“In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your Name.

New Living Translation:
Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may Your Name be kept holy.

ESV
Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.

NASB
Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your Name.

RSV
Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.

ASV
After this manner therefore pray ye. Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thus we see "hallowed" is the most used translation. The word "hallowed" is being translated from the Greek word ἁγιάζω (hagiazō), which means, "to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or hallow" according to the lexicon.

Thus the central element here is the acceptance and respect of God’s Name. While we see interpretations of scripture that claim “God has no Name,” here we can clearly see that not only does God have a Name, but His Name is to be “hallowed.” To clarify, to be “hallowed” is to have the utmost respect, allegiance and reverence. To “hallow” God’s Name would include respecting it, glorifying it, repeating it, singing it, shouting it from the rooftops, and in general, having His Name on our tongues.

The singing of God’s Names has been a revered and glorified in every devotional religious ceremony since time immemorial. Here is the scriptural evidence for the importance of praising God's Holy Names.

As to the "God has no Name” position of some ecclesiastical teachers, this is a misinterpretation of the position that God’s names are not material — they are unlike any name referring to the physical world.

In this respect, God’s Name is completely spiritual. For this reason, one of the Ten Commandments says “You shall not misuse the Name of the Lord your God…” (Exodus 20:7)

This did not say "you shall not say the Name of the Lord your God." A number of translations use the words “in vain” to describe this misuse. This has come to be misunderstood over the years of use, as meaning saying God’s name for vanity purposes.

But the NIV translation of “misuse” provides a clearer meaning, because it refers to the saying of God’s Name without the reverence or respect that His Name deserves.

These two key instructions from the Bible—Jesus’ prayer and one of the Ten Commandments—could not be more clear. Obviously, God’s Name is special and to be revered. It is not ordinary. It is not material.

The Name of God has a power that is greater than any physical thing or word because God’s Name is connected to God Himself. Thus it is to be considered non-different than God Himself, because there is no duality in the spiritual realm.

This is not like the references we have here in the physical world. What we see here are names for temporary physical bodies. Names that can be changed. A person might be named "William" but may be called "Bill" and might later change his name to "Tom." It is the same person, but the names are different.

At one time we wore a baby’s body. Then the body became a teenage body. Then the body became an adult body. Then it will become an old person’s body. Then we will eventually leave the body. These bodily identities are all temporary. The self inside the body is the permanent being. The self inside the body is spiritual, while the temporary body is physical. Therefore we are each different from our name—given to a physical body. We will eventually leave this name behind. Some people even change their names. Thus these names are separate from us.

The Supreme Being is always Himself. Thus there are many Names for the Supreme Being but they are always part of Him.

God’s nature is purely spiritual. Therefore His Name is eternal. His Name also has tremendous power. This is confirmed in Acts 2:21:
“And everyone who shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”

It is also confirmed by David in Psalm 124:8:
 “Our help is in the Name of the Lord, the Make of heaven and earth.”

God's Holy Name has the ability to connect us directly with God. God’s Name has the ability to renew our relationship with Him. By calling His Name in a moment of fear or danger, we become rescued on a spiritual level. By calling His Name anytime, with love and devotion, we are immediately lifted out of this temporary physical illusion of identity and put in His world.

By revering the Name of God—using it in prayer, song and repetition—we find our solace. We find our selves. We find God through the revered saying of His Name. It is for this reason that we “hallow” His Name. It is for this reason that we don’t “misuse” His Name. God's Name is, quite simply, our salvation from this world.

There are a number of forms of His Name that are confirmed by scripture. God is predominantly used in the Bible. We also find His Name Jehovah. We also find Elohim and Eloah used. Jesus used a form of these Names when he spoke of Eloi. English interpretations of these names are Father, Supreme Being, and Lord. (Although “lord” (or "master") is also used as a greeting for those devoted to God as well.)

In other scriptures of the world (or are we saying that God cannot reach out to other cultures?) we find many other Names of God. God has so many other Names. And why not? If people can call us different names, why cannot the Supreme Being have many names? People can call us by our first name, our last name, or a host of different nicknames. Some may even call us "buddy," or "pal," or "sweetheart." Why can't God have nick names, and intimate names said by His special servants? (You can see a collection of God's Holy Names here).

While we find a number of scripturally authentic and revered references to the Supreme Being from various scriptures and devotional writings, this is not to be taken lightly. Within each of these Names, God reveals a part of His Personality. His Personality is variegated. God has many Names, many describing a particular character trait.

Reciting one or several of His Names is a long-held and timeless spiritual practice. We find many references to the singing and glorifying of God’s Names within the old and new testaments and in every other bonafide scripture of the world, including the Bible. Yet surprisingly, few in the modern Christian church give this revered and ancient practice any consideration or practical application. And this first sentence of Jesus’ prayer seems to escape the sermons and pews of the modern churches.

To correctly put into practice Jesus' instruction would be to actually “hallow God’s Name.” This means we say His Name with reverence in our prayers and hymns. This means we can also repeat and glorify God's Name throughout the day. We can sing His Names as we play our instruments. We can softly repeat His Names when we walk or meditate.

As we live our lives, we can continually "hallow" God's Holy Names.


 (For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Gospel of Matthew without institutional sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus  - translated from the original Greek texts.)