The Deepest Desire of the Christian Heart

The Deepest Desire of the Christian Heart

Since I was 22 years old, all my Bible reading, all my journaling, all my counseling and writing and preaching and thinking, has circled back to this: “Hallowed be your name.” I have come back again and again to the prayer, the longing, the pursuit, that God would make his name supremely treasured as holy — first in my life, and then in all the world.

I want you to join me in this passion.

How could I not? That is what the prayer means! “Hallowed be your name” means I am asking God to cause you (and me) to treasure his name above all else. If I pray it honestly, I must want it — for you, for everyone. (This is why Desiring God exists!)

First and Ultimate

The plea, “Hallowed be your name,” is the only petition in the Lord’s Prayer where an explicit act of the human heart is named. The act of hallowing. All the other petitions serve this. The kingdom comes for this. God’s will is done for this. Daily bread is for this. Forgiveness is for this. Escape from temptation and evil is for this.

“Hallowing” involves reverencing, honoring, esteeming, admiring, valuing, and treasuring God’s name above all things. This is the first and ultimate desire of the Christian heart. (Ask him to make it so!) That’s why Jesus told us to seek it first — to pray for it. First. Foremost. It is to be our supreme passion in life.

Passions like this are awakened by hearing the voice of God — God himself, not a mere man — declare pervasively in his speech that the hallowing of his name is his main goal in history. This is why all things exist.

The Pervasive Theme

Give your ear — and your heart — to this:

  • He seeks the hallowing of his name in saving us.

“Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power” (Psalms 106:8).

  • He seeks the hallowing of his name in pardoning and forgiving us.

For your name’s sake, O Lᴏʀᴅ , pardon my guilt, for it is great” (Psalms 25:11).

“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake” (1 John 2:12).

  • He seeks the hallowing of his name in restraining his anger.

For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you” (Isaiah 48:9).

  • He seeks the hallowing of his name in not forsaking us or spurning us.

“The Lᴏʀᴅ will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake” (1 Samuel 12:22).

“Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake; do not dishonor your glorious throne” (Jeremiah 14:21).

  • He seeks the hallowing of his name in leading us in righteousness.

“He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalms 23:3; 31:3).

  • He seeks the hallowing of his name in helping, delivering, atoning.

“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!” (Psalms 79:9).

  • He seeks the hallowing of his name in preserving our lives.

For your name’s sake, O Lᴏʀᴅ, preserve my life! (Psalms 143:11).

  • He seeks the hallowing of his name in gathering, cleansing, and renewing his people.

I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, declares the Lord Gᴏᴅ, . . . when I gather you from all the countries . . . and sprinkle clean water on you, . . . and give you a new heart, and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 36:23–26).

That is a small sample of God’s passion for the hallowing of his name. But if you ponder this, I believe the Holy Spirit (whose mission is to move our hearts to hallow the name of Jesus, John 16:14) will give you an unshakable joy in this unshakable reality: God does all for the hallowing of his all-satisfying name.

I am praying for you (Ephesians 6:18).


More on the glory of God:

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.