Intentionality: We should be praying with intentionality, with our mind on what we are doing and saying. But do we? Weekly we routinely repeat, “In the name of the Father,” “Hallowed be Your Name.” When we come into church and bless ourselves with holy water, is it with attention? When the priest summons us, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” is our “Amen” truly our affirmation and response to our baptismal call? When we come to the Our Father, do we truly hallow His name? We talk the talk, but do we walk the walk? In other words, do we reverence God when we call upon his very name?

‘I AM’

God Himself knows His name is important. In the Old Testament, when God revealed His name to Moses, YHWH, “I AM,” no one ever heard it except Moses. It was so sacred that no Jew ever dared to try to pronounce it.

When Jesus came, “YHWH” had not been spoken on earth for 1,500 years. When He reclaimed it as his own — “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM’ (see John 8:31-59) — the Jews picked up stones and tried to stone Him for blasphemy.

But Jesus repeated that He is “YHWH;” He is the “I AM.” Again and again He states, “I AM” the bread of life, the light of the world, the door of the sheepfold, the good shepherd, the way, the truth, and the life, and the true vine and, most importantly, “the resurrection and the life.” 1

When asked by the Apostles how to pray, by His very wording, “hallowed be your name;” He requires us to take His and His Father’s Name as seriously as do the Jews.

The Trinitarian version

But Jesus didn’t stop there. He gave us the full Trinitarian version of God’s name in the Great Commission: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name

f the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” [Matthew 28:19]. This triune expansion of “YHWH” unveiled the inner mystery of God, three persons in one God, Relationship, Love’s eternal dynamic, an overwhelmingly momentous gift.

This was our baptismal call. We begin all our prayer with this same hallowed triple declaration: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” By the grace of God, we are called upon to live each moment of our lives in His name, to know that He is with us and that we are to do His will.

Let Us Hallow His Name

Yet, although we have incorporated this revelation into our liturgical and daily prayer, we often do not give it the attention, the reverence, the hallowing, the intentionality God Himself has shown us is important. He tried to get our attention when He revealed it to Moses, when He included it as the Second Commandment, when Jesus bids us to hallow His Name in His prayer. He calls us to be intentional in our reference to His name in all we think, do and say. But are we? As His adopted children, let us return to that initial fervor. May we learn to hallow His name not only in our prayers but in all our actions.

Let us remind ourselves that when we promise to act “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” we are ultimately saying, desiring, committing ourselves to do all things from our first breath as a newborn to our last breath before we meet Him face to face as He wills and in His name.

Let us begin: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

1 6:35, 48, 51/8:12; 9:5/10:7, 9/10:11, 14/11:25/14:6/15:1 respectively.

— Paul Turnley served on the Diocesan Worship Commission and has written on the topic of reverence in the liturgy and at prayer during the Eucharistic Revival.

—Originally published in the Feb. 24-March 1, 2024, edition of The Inland See.