Since 1958, the West Point Association of Graduates has presented the SYLVANUS THAYER AWARD to an outstanding citizen of the United States whose service and accomplishments in the national interest exemplify personal devotion to the ideals expressed in the West Point motto, “DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY.”
In 1802 Thayer became the first superintendent of West Point. He was recognized as a profound scholar/leader and many of his techniques in education are still applied today. In 2017, George W. Bush received the Thayer award. As is often the case for whoever is selected, there were detractors who did not think he deserved the award.
Matthew 6:9—Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy.
“Your name be honored as holy.”
Isn’t it comforting to know that when we pray to God we call upon a faultless Father? Unlike with human recognition, there is no scandal or controversy in honoring His name. The Bible firmly establishes that God’s name is to be honored as holy. “You must not profane My holy name; I must be treated as holy among the Israelites. I am Yahweh who sets you apart.”(Leviticus 22:32). When blessed with a baby boy, Hannah prayed, “There is no one holy like the Lord. There is no one besides You! And there is no rock like our God”(I Samuel 2:2). King David decreed to his countrymen, “Honor His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice” (I Chronicles 16:10). “ . . . His name is holy and awe-inspiring” (Psalm 111:9). God revealed to His prophet Ezekiel,“Then I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they went” (Ezekiel 36:21). In heaven we will join with those who sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb, “Lord, who will not fear and glorify Your name? Because You alone are holy, for all the nations will come and worship before You because Your righteous acts have been revealed”(Revelation 15:4).
Our name represents who we are. It is the most important designation we carry for it is our identity. God’s identity is one of holiness. Scripture says, He alone is holy. From before time and for all time, His holiness is uncompromised. By Jesus teaching us to first honor in prayer His Father, He places us in a secure and strong position. God’s name is recognized with praise or distinction at least 124 times in Scripture. He takes delight in our praise so by beginning our prayer by honoring Him we have His undivided attention and approval.
In honoring God’s name, we further remove our concerns and whatever may be troubling our hearts or infecting our attitudes wrongly. In essence, by honoring God’s name we realign our priorities. But we must do this purposefully. People who casually approach God’s throne with words of formula or, who are just mumbling a memorized shtick, are not fooling God. We respectfully put Him first where He rightly belongs. When I start my prayers this way I notice a shift in how I feel. I am immediately comforted by the fact that I am coming before my awesome Father who is flawless and this both calms and blesses my heart.
Recognition is the nectar of respect and by it we show both allegiance and trust in our Sovereign Lord. Pray like this: “Hallowed be Thy Name!”
For real prayer . . . that centers on the hallowing of God’s name and the doing of his will—has, among its other effects, a reflex effect. It purifies the heart; it purges our attitudes and motives; it melts down all the self-centeredness, self-sufficiency, and self-reliance that as fallen creatures we bring to it, and programs us to work humbly, in a God-honoring, God-fearing, God-dependent way.—J.I. Packer in A Passion For Faithfulness
©2017 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)