The Lord's Prayer

“Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name…”

With these words, Jesus taught us pray.  After calling upon His heavenly Father, His first priority, His first petition, His first declaration was, “Hallowed be Your name.”

The New Living Bible translates the verse, “May Your name be honored.”

Hallow is to sanctify, consecrate, make holy, honor, revere.  Jesus is not only teaching us to respect and honor the name of His Father, but to pray that it will happen.  So, I asked myself, how will it happen?  Certainly in our hearts and attitudes.  But what else needs to happen?

God answered my questions as I studied the prophecies concerning Israel in Scripture.  I realize now how honoring God’s name is part of the prophetic picture!

Look at these verses found in Ezekiel’s great prophecy of Israel being renewed:

Ezekiel 36:23:

And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord," says the Lord God, "when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.”

Ezekiel 38:16

You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes."

Ezekiel 39:27

When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer.

Three times God declares that through the events surrounding the nation of Israel, and through His deliverance of His people, His name will be hallowed.

These are not merely ceremonial or religious words.  They are promises spoken by the Lord.  Over 15 times, in Ezekiel 36 alone, He says, I will:

“I will multiply…”

“I will make you inhabited…”

“I will cause men to walk on you…”

“I will sanctify my great name…”

“I will take you from among the nations…”

“I will sprinkle clean water on you…”

“I will give you a new heart…”

The promises continue throughout Ezekiel’s prophecy as God vows to restore His people, their hearts, their land, and their faith, all so that “they shall know that I am the Lord… I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 36:38; 39:29).

Now we find ourselves wondering what 2010 will it bring. I look to the place where everything will ultimately be decided: the Middle East.  Israel. Israel is where the kingdom of God on earth began, and where it will begin to be established once again.

I often recommend the writings of my friend Joel Rosenberg and encourage you to follow his blog (http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/.)

He recently posted a piece titled STATE OF THE EPICENTER: Where does the Israel-Iran conflict stand at the end of 2009, which I encourage you to read in its entirety, but here are a few highlights:

• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won the Israeli elections in February …because Israelis believed Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert had given away — or offered to give away — too much land …Israelis wanted a tough, decisive leader strong enough to go to war with Iran, if need be.

• The Iranian nuclear crisis is worsening by the week.

• Netanyahu is quickly running out of options. If the international community does not stop Iran, he will have to order the military to strike.

• Netanyahu has taken the following steps: declared a 10 month freeze of building Jewish settlements in the West Bank, dismantled dozens of roadblocks and check points in the West Bank, offered to begin peace talks…

• President Obama told Netanyahu that he would give diplomacy with Iran until the end of 2009. Netanyahu probably gave his word to President Obama that he would not launch an overt war during this period. But time is now up.

• The White House is talking about more economic sanctions against Iran early in 2010. But this requires full support at the U.N. from Russia and China.

• Netanyahu and his team are not confident that the U.N. Security Council will back decisive sanctions against Iran…

As details and events continue to unfold,  we are literally watching Ezekiel 36-39 being played out in our time.

In this new year, I believe we will continue to witness the answer to our prayers, as we cry out to the Lord together, “Our Father!  Hallowed be Your name!”  In the midst of the strife and violence that constantly threatens Israel, God’s Spirit will draw people to Him.  Jews, Muslims, Gentiles…multitudes will call upon the name of the Lord.

May God bless you in this coming year!

Pastor Ray

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