“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.’” (Matthew 6:9)
Dozens of times Scripture says that God does things “for his name’s sake.”
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3)
For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt. (Psalm 25:11)
He saved them for his name’s sake. (Psalm 106:8)
For my name’s sake I defer my anger. (Isaiah 48:9)
Your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. (1 John 2:12)
If you ask what is really moving the heart of God in all those statements (and many like them), the answer is that God delights in having his name known and honored.
The first and most important prayer that can be prayed is, “Hallowed be your name.” I used to think this is an acclamation. Like, “Hallelujah! The Lord’s name is hallowed!” But it’s not an acclamation. It’s a petition. Actually a kind of imperative or command. Lord, let it be! Cause it to be. May your name be hallowed. This is my request, my prayer. I am urging you to this: Cause people to hallow your name. Cause me to hallow your name!
God loves to have more and more people “hallow” his name. That’s why his Son teaches Christians to pray for it. In fact, Jesus makes it the very first and paramount prayer. Because this is the first and great passion of the Father.
“Lord, cause more and more people to hallow your name,” that is, esteem, admire, respect, cherish, honor, reverence, and praise your name. More and more people! So, you can see it is basically a missionary prayer.