Week 2: October 9

In Heaven, Hallowed Be Your Name by Mark Shuey

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There are two distinct ways to enjoy new countries or lands that one might visit. One is as a tourist, the other is as an explorer. While the tourist might enjoy the predictability of pre-planned itineraries, the primary goal of the tourist is to see and to view the terrain and the culture the way most others experience the land. Not so with the explorer, who has a different motivation, that of leaving the well worn path and the controlled excursions to seek new vistas, to immerse oneself in the local culture that results in, not only seeing, but also in discovery.

We can approach the Lord’s Prayer in much the same way. As a tourist, we may see the words as familiar and predictable, words that many of us have recited from memory since we were children. We may not fully appreciate the magnitude and power of this prayer because it is so familiar that reciting this prayer has become routine. We have traveled this ground so many times the path has become worn and familiar.

What we will be doing today is taking the approach of the explorer, who looks in different directions with a specific purpose and focus. We will examine and study each word of this prayer with the desire of bringing new discovery and enlightenment to these sacred and ancient words that Jesus taught to us.

This week we will explore the words in bold:

“‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

    on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

    as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from the evil one.”

In considering this opening section of the Lords’ Prayer, we open ourselves to the fact that, as we pray this prayer, we are not using our words to address a human being, and our words are not even directed to this earthly dimension. Our focus is on a different plane. We are lifting our words to our glorious God in heaven. This section of the Lord’s prayer is a call to redirect our outlook toward adopting a cosmic view and to acknowledge the reality of the spiritual realm that exists with our physical world. With these words we are not only proclaiming and celebrating Gods’ existence and presence, we are also transported into His dimension.


“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 

- 2 Corinthians 4:18

As you pray, do you pray as a tourist or an explorer?


Heaven. There may not be a single word in the entire English language that will produce more varied images. Some people think of puffy clouds, golden gates, angels and halos and harps. Others think of a beautiful pastoral scene of lakes, oceans or mountains and trees. What comes to my mind when I think of heaven is probably as unique to me as my DNA and the same would probably hold true for each of you.

Regardless of the vast discrepancies in what we humans imagine heaven to be, we tend to think of heaven because we recognize that there is a cosmic reality that exists outside of the physical world we inhabit. A supernatural reality where “Our Father” dwells and interacts with us in a continuous and loving interplay with the world in which we live. When Jesus instructs us to pray “Our Father in heaven” he intends for us to see two aspects of God. One would be the magnificence, the glory and the enormity of God. Jesus reminds us that we are praying to a God that transcends our complete understanding. The other aspect is that, in Jesus, heaven has come to earth and God is near. He is as close as the very air we breathe and yet equally present in the vast heavens of the night sky and the hidden heavens we can not see, but can only imagine. When we gaze into the majestic night sky and pray to God, we also know that he dwells beside us and in us. Although He is over and above us, He is also incredibly close to us.

The words “in heaven” are not meant to identify God as a remote entity in the far off reaches of the universe, just the opposite. These two words are given to us by Jesus so that we would set our minds on the cosmic reality of a God who is both majestic and yet near. To increase our awareness of the grand scope and beauty of the world in which we live and the unseen world ruled by God. We live in a ‘God soaked’ world. His presence is not only all around us. He has also chosen to live within us. When we look to the brilliant sky and pray “Our Father in heaven” we are praying to the Creator of the galaxies as well as the One who is as near to us as our very breath.

The next time I pray The Lord’s Prayer, I will pause after saying “Our Father in heaven” and not only think of the vast and unknown beauty of heaven, but also the heaven I see before me as I marvel at the wind blowing through the red maple tree in my back yard and realize that “heaven” is surely plural as it is both near and far.


Jesus, thank you for teaching us the mystery and reality of God.

For showing us that the Father is instantly relational and infinitely unknowable.

We look to God as a perfect Father, but we never forget His holiness.

May we look to the sky and see the wonders of God.

May we feel the love of a perfect Father, who is near.

May we know that heaven is the dwelling place of God

And may God lavish His love on you and me.


“Hallowed Be Your Name.” Early in the Lord's Prayer Jesus uses the word “Hallowed”. A powerful word that is reserved for that which is holy and sacred, and also that which is greatly revered and honored. The battlefields at Gettysburg are often called “hallowed ground” due to the remarkable and solemn sacrifices that many made that consecrated those fields for eternity. There is a sacred and lofty nature to the word “hallowed”, which makes it a perfect word to use to address God, as Jesus gives us this powerful reminder as to exactly who we are praying to.

After identifying God as “Our Father” and orienting our thoughts to what is unseen, “who is in heaven”, Jesus now turns toward a phrase which is designed to express the nature of God’s character and being. “Hallowed Be Your Name” is given to proclaim the holiness of God, a holiness that is both above us and separate from us, but also a holiness that is offered to us.

To proclaim the glory of God at the outset of this prayer is an appropriate and honorable way to begin, yet there is an underlying reason that we are instructed to address God's holiness and righteousness I believe Jesus wants us to dwell upon God's holiness because He knows that so often we have been severely mistaken by what we honor and hold sacred, by how we live our lives according to that which captures our attention and desire. One quick look at our culture and it's apparent that we value those who can read a script, hit a baseball, hold a political office or build a fortune in very high esteem. Our concept of living well is skewed and so often we choose to admire or imitate the people, events, or movements prominent in our culture, above that which should be honored and emulated. Society does not hand out an Oscar award for holiness or a Heisman trophy for integrity. As Pastor Eugene Peterson wrote: “Neither the pursuit of holiness nor the adventure of righteousness gets headlines”. Jesus knows that lives shaped mainly by culture are aimless and hollow, so He invites us to proclaim and pursue holiness, by, not only, recognizing the holiness of God but also using “hallowed” as a declaration to join God in a quest of righteousness, through obedience and surrender. By saying “Hallowed Be Your Name”, we declare our desire to live differently by what we proclaim to honor and emulate.


“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” - 1 Peter 1:15-16

When I consider what I devote my time and attention to, what does it tell me as to the focus of my life?

What steps do I need to take to declare my desire to live differently?


The word heaven has been a dominant word within world culture for thousands of years. In this time countless number of people have thought deeply about the concept of heaven and have gone to great lengths to express their view of what heaven represents to them. Heaven is a word and topic that has captivated humanity for all of time. How many people down through the ages have been captured by the opening words of Psalm 19 as they gaze into the sky?

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." - Psalm 19:1

Today’s devotional will present thoughts from some of Christianity’s great minds and their views of heaven. Notice the aspects of the magnitude, the wonder, the beauty and the mystery contained in their words. We are no different from any of these people, who provide their insight below. We have no better idea of heaven than they have, yet let’s allow ourselves to think deeply, as they did to come up with our own quote on the nature and wonder of heaven.

After you read the following quotes on heaven take some time to contemplate the following question:

What are my thoughts on heaven?

"Your place in Heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it." - C.S. Lewis

“To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here.” - Jonathan Edwards

“I would not give one moment of heaven for all the joy and riches of the world, even if it lasted for thousands and thousands of years.” - Martin Luther

“We cannot anticipate or desire what we cannot imagine. That's why, I believe, God has given us glimpses of Heaven in the Bible - to fire up our imagination and kindle a desire for Heaven in our hearts.” - Randy Alcorn

“And though we don't know a great deal about heaven now, we can be sure its reality will exceed our wildest dreams. We will see the Lord, and we will see one another. And all of the mysteries will be solved.” - Greg Laurie

Now it’s your turn. What are the words or ideas that come to your mind when you think about heaven? You might even want to take a minute and write some words or a sentence or two describing your thoughts.

Day 5

“Prayer is awe, intimacy, struggle – yet the way to reality. There is nothing more important, or harder or richer or more life altering. There is simply nothing so great as prayer.” - Timothy Keller

What is it that makes prayer so great? Why did the disciples ask Jesus to, not heal others, or perform miracles, but to teach them to pray above all else? It’s because of WHO we are praying to. The greatness of God establishes the greatness of prayer. When we bow our heads and close our eyes we are praying to the source of our lives and all life. The creator of all we see and that which we can not see. The author of love and goodness. The One who loves us. The One who’s name is hallowed.

In today’s devotional, let's try an exercise. Over the next few days, begin the Lord’s Prayer but stop after the word “hallowed be your name.”

“Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Stop.

At this point in your prayer, think about and tell God the many reasons His name is to be hallowed. Think about and praise God for the magnitude of His love, for the beauty, goodness, and diversity of His creation. Think about the remarkable privilege of speaking to and sharing your heart with our remarkable God. Perhaps you may want to take out pen and paper or your journal and write down your thoughts of God’s magnificence.

“Hallowed be your name” provides the foundation for, not only The Lord’ Prayer, but all of our prayers, as well as for our individual lives, our lives together as a church family and Christ’s body on earth. It’s how we should live, to honor His name.

When we pray these words, we are proclaiming God as the greatest source of power and love in existence and asking Him to help us to live today. To reflect His love and glory in everything we do. It’s why “there is simply nothing so great as Prayer.”

The Lord’s Prayer from the NIV Bible:

“‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

    on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

    as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from the evil one.”

In what ways can I live my life and hallow His name today?