God knows the plans He has for you: that His name will be hallowed in your life.
Read / Listen
Read Jeremiah 29:10-14
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 122
Q. What does the first
A. “Hallowed be your name” means,
Help us to really know you,
to bless, worship, and praise you
for all your works
and for all that shines forth
your almighty power, wisdom,
kindness, justice, mercy, and truth.
And it means,
Help us to direct all our living—
what we think, say, and do—
so that your name will never
be blasphemed because of us
but always honored and praised.
Chances are you have Jeremiah 29:11 inscribed on something in your house, whether it's a piece of art or decorative item on display. So many Christian graduation cards have the words "For I know the plans I have for you... plans to prosper you [give you shalom] and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Unfortunately these are some of the most misinterpreted words in the Bible, as if God has made this promise to each and every individual who happens to read these words. Then when things go poorly for someone, skepticism sets in because it seems like God is filching on the promise He made not to bring harm.
What is easily missed is that the word 'you' is plural. If our cousins from down south would have translated this, it would read "For I know the plans I have for y'all..." It's not that God's promise here in this passage is unreliable or fickle - quite the opposite! Rather, God is making a very generalized statement regarding the future of His covenant people as a whole, saying that when the appointed time comes, He will "gather y'all from the nations... and bring y'all back to the place from which I carried y'all into exile (v14)."
These words spoken long ago to the exiled people of Israel do apply to you as well. It may very well be that God has plans to prosper you by giving you hope and a good future. Most of us can testify to God prospering us - bringing us shalom - in our lives, especially as we give thanks at this time of the year.
But it may also be that God's plans for you include sickness, suffering and even death. Even so, the Word He brought through Jeremiah still holds true: He will gather you, His covenant child, and bring you out of exile and back into His presence.
Praying the words "hallowed by your name" fit into both the acknowledgement and the alignment categories of prayer. You're certainly reminding yourself that God is holy; that is, He's separate from creation and above all things, and that He's perfectly complete and righteous.
But every time you sincerely pray these words you're also fulfilling this promise He made to His covenant people thousands of years ago as they began their exile: that the day would come when the people He rescued would "seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (v13)."
That's exactly what it means to pray that God's name be hallowed in your life: that as one who has been set free by Christ, you will seek Him with all of your heart.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The LORD, who plans to bring full shalom to His covenant people;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray God's name will be hallowed in your life as you seek Him with all of your heart;
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - 2 Peter 1