You never know what is going to happen when you work with kids in the church. Years ago, I was teaching a group of children and heard one of the most bizarre statements.
I asked if any of the children wanted to pray and one boy raised his hand. I didn’t hear anything he said after the second word:
As confused as I could be, I wondered who this “Howard” fella was and why did this boy think it was OK to pray to him. Was this some type of New Age mumbo jumbo that someone had fed him? After class, I pulled him aside to get some clarification.
“Hey buddy, I couldn’t help but notice today that in your prayer, you prayed to Howard. What is that?”
“Because that’s God’s name.”
“Uhmm, not exactly. That’s not a name we call God in the Bible.”
“Yes, you do. Howard be thy name.”
I kid you not.
What Does This Mean Anyway?
While this boy did not really comprehend the wording of the Lord’s Prayer, not many of us really grasp what Jesus meant when he said these words either.
Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy. -Matt. 6:9
The first petition in the Lord’s Prayer is a desire for the name of God to be honored as holy. His name should be set apart as unique among all other names. His name – like his character – is like none other. Calling upon the name of the LORD signifies communication with God Almighty.
As we study a few passages concerning the name of God, study them and answer the questions underneath each verse.
- Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God, because the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name. -Ex. 20:7
- I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols. -Is. 42:8
- So that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth – and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. -Phil. 2:10-11
- I will cause your name to be remembered for all generations; therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever. -Ps. 45:17
We must remember that prayer is not about our names, but it is about God’s name!
Prayer is not meant to be about us or our glory but it is designed for the glory of the name above all names!
In your time of prayer today, focus on the name of God. Pray that his name would be seen in your life. Pray that his name would resound over all the earth. Pray that your church would have his name as the centerpiece.
May they know that You alone – whose name is Yahweh – are the Most High over all the earth. -Ps. 83:18