This month, I am breaking down The Lord’s Prayer” in small sections so that we might be able to understand this wonderful prayer better.
Last week, I started with “which art in heaven” and this week…
Hallowed be thy name
“Hallowed” means, holy/whole, sacred, blessed, perfect, complete.
In every religion, the name of God is sacred. They all agree that the Name of God is the same as God. The Hebrew religion will not write it on paper, so that no one can desecrate it.
In Hinduism, when a person takes initiation from their guru/teacher, they are given a mantra, which will contain names of God. They promise to daily repeat this mantra over and over.
In both the Old and New Testaments, it sets up the practice of hallowing the name of God…honoring it.
“O magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt in his name together.” ~Psalms 34:3
“Therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” ~Hebrews 13:15
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
Jesus asks his disciples to pray in His name “Verily, verily I say unto you. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father, in my name, he will give it to you. Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” ~John 16:23-24
The practice of repeating God’s name over and over is practiced in all religions. In the east, it is called mantras. In the west, it takes the form of prayer.
As we continuously practice the prayer/mantra of our choice, we say it more and more. The idea is to try to fill up our “empty” time with prayer. That time we spend daydreaming or contemplating the many different scenarios of how things might work out at work, with friends, situations, etc. Not that some daydreaming is bad, but do we want to spend our time daydreaming our life away, or do we want to do what we are meant to do with this life here on earth: to fully realize our own individual potential and relationship with God?
It is best to pick one mantra or prayer and focus on that one over and over. After a time, this mantra/prayer will come to you automatically more and more throughout your day. You will begin to feel the peace and calmness it brings you and you will use it more and more.
In Hinduism, the maha mantra is very popular:
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
In Catholicism, there are many prayers as well, e.g., Hail Mary, The Lord’s Prayer. One of my favorites is an Eastern Orthodox prayer called The Jesus Prayer. This prayer is explained in the book, “The Way of the Pilgrim”:
“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”
In 12-step program, we were taught from the beginning the power of prayer and one that is used is the serenity prayer:
God grant me the Serenity to accept the thing I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
The more we repeat the names of God, the more we take on the very essence of God. We clean our thoughts and our actions through the continuous chanting of prayer and/or mantras.
I was told it was like cleaning out a very old dirty ink bottle by continuously pouring water in. Eventually the ink and stains are washed out of the bottle. It takes time and commitment, but anything that is lasting, does.
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