Wednesdays with Words: Hallowing His Holy Ones

A couple of weeks ago, I posted in my Daybook this quote from When You Pray, “We cannot hallow God until God hallows us.”

I’ve been reading When You Pray by Philip Graham Ryken for a month or two now and very much enjoying it. I’m finding it very helpful in my own praying of the Lord’s Prayer by adding depth and a fuller sense of just what I’m praying for or about … and who I’m praying to.

I’ve already posted one Wednesdays with Words post from this book; I imagine there will be more.

It is amazing how much is packed into each phrase of the Lord’s Prayer, even what seem to be throwaway phrases. It is the fifth chapter when Ryken gets to the idea, “Hallowed be thy name.”

Ryken goes through the idea of holiness … and how God is holy and how that works out in our lives. He makes us holy so we can hallow him.

But he goes on in more detail about what a holy life would look like.

If Christ died to make us holy then holy we must be. Consider the surprising word the New Testament uses over and over to describe God’s people. The word is “saint,” which means “holy one.” It is significant that the Greek noun for “saint” comes from the same root as the Greek verb “to hallow.”

This means that one of the places God hallows himself is in us. He answers the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer by “sanctifying” his “saints,” or “hallowing” his “holy ones.” In one of the oldest commentaries on this prayer, Cyprian observed that we pray “not that we wish for God that He may be hallowed by our prayers, but that we beseech of Him that His name be hallowed in us.” pg 72-73

 I’ve been recently talking with some friends about bearing fruit and sanctification and and how we assess our growth. Then, my pastor preached about justification and sanctification. Sanctification is a process, a growing, an increasing  movement in our lives. It is a life movement of aligning ourselves with Christ – or rather being aligned the Holy Spirit to Christ, becoming conformed to him more and more, and one that will not be completed in this lifetime.

God is answering our petition to hallow himself … and generously, as always, he answers it through his own work in our lives. We can – we must – work with him, but it is really His work. Isn’t that awesome? My salvation is His work. My justification is His work. My sanctification is His work. 

His work in our lives of hallowing us is for hallowing His name which is answering our prayer to Him.



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