Hallowed be Your Name – adoration (Prayer day 14)

Holiness is a foreign concept in our secular society.  This is not surprising, since the opposite of holy is secular, or common. So how can we understand what it mean to pray “hallowed be Your name?”

Today’s devotional reading will be greatly enhanced by this well-known hymn by Reginald Heber (1783-1826).


Psalm 99 – The Lord Our God Is Holy

1 The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The Lord is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name!
Holy is he!
The King in his might loves justice.
You have established equity;
you have executed justice
and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt the Lord our God;
worship at his footstool!
Holy is he!

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel also was among those who called upon his name.
They called to the Lord, and he answered them.
In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them;
they kept his testimonies
and the statute that he gave them.

O Lord our God, you answered them;
you were to them God-Who-Forgives,
but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Exalt the Lord our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the Lord our God is holy!

Ark of the Covenant
“The Lord sits enthroned above the cherubim (Ps 99:1).” These are angelic beings with a human body and also with wings. They are assigned to vindicate the holiness of God against the sin of man.– Description from Believers Bible Commentary.

 Observations and reflections

  1. A simple way of understanding the message of the psalmist is by rewriting the Psalm in your own words:
  • V1
  • V2-3
  • V4-5
  • V6-8
  • V9
  1. This psalm is a lesson to us.
  • What is the chore call of this Psalm? (hint: look for repetition verses 3, 5, 9)
  • This Psalm has three main lessons about our relationship to the Holy God (hint: look before the repeated phrases, i.e. at verses 2, 4, 6-8)
  1. Mark the (a) names of God and (b) attributes of God praised in this psalm.

Personal reflection and Prayer

To say that God is holy means that he is not like us, that his ways are different, and that his character and nature is unique. And this is the call of praise in Psalm 99: God is high above all people, his governance shows no favouritism, is fair and free of corruption; yet although God is awesome and untouchable he saves those who call on Him, has relationship with sinful people, forgives freely yet punishes wrongdoing.

  1. What makes God unique in your eyes? Tell him that.
  2. In your own words pray along the lines of this Psalm:
  • Tell God in which way He more powerful than humans, angels or any force in creation.
  • Praise God for his
    • justice without corruption
    • mercy: His saving and forgiving nature
    • that He is relational, and cares about you too.



Justice in an unjust society 3

Jesus and the prophets continually rebuked God’s followers for fixating on religious observation but neglecting “the more important aspects of the law”.


Matthew 23:23 [NLT]  “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

Micah 6:8  He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

Zechariah 7:9-10  “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.’

Observation and reflection questions

Regarding Matthew 23:23

  1. In your own words summarise Jesus’ message to the Pharisees of his day.
  2. Why would Jesus call these devout religious leaders “hypocrites” in the specific context of the verse?
  3. What do you think Jesus meant by these “more important aspects of the law”?
    1. Justice
    2. Mercy
    3. Faith

Reflection and Application

Consider the following three phrases which may describe what “living a life that pleases God” looks like?

  • Not sinning morally, reading the Bible and praying daily.
  • Participating in church worship activities and inviting others to church.
  • Living a life of faith and power through the Holy Spirit.
  • Caring for the weak, the poor and marginalized in society.
  1. Which of these statements would best describe contemporary Western Christianity’s view of “a life that pleases God”?
  2. Which of these statements best describe Jesus and the prophet’s view of “a life that pleases God”?
  3. How does your attitudes and activities line up with Jesus’ “more important aspects of the law”?
  4. What can you do this week to do “justice and mercy”? For whom will you do it?


Pray for God’s compassion to well in your heart, that you may be “moved with compassion” to acts of mercy and justice, as Christ was moved.

The Kingdom of God 7 – righteousness and joy

The aim of this devotional Bible Study is to reflect on the anticipation and nature of the kingdom of God.


Psalms 97:1-12

1  The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! 2  Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 3  Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around. 4  His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.

5  The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. 6  The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.

7  All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!

8  Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD. 9  For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. 10  O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 11  Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. 12  Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Observation and reflection

  1. What is the tone or mood of this Psalm? [hint: note the emotive descriptors in verses 1, 8, 11, 12]
  2. What is the reason for this mood? (verses 1, 9)
  3. The Psalmist describes the LORD as a King approaching to rule words like “clouds and thick darkness”, “fire that consumes his enemies”, “lightnings”, “people tremble”, “mountains wax” and “glory”. (v2-6) Give two or three words that desribe what this King is like, as described in these verses.
  4. What is this King’s kingdom like? [hint: note verses 2, 6, 11, 12]
  5. The response to this awesome King’s reign is dived. What groups of people are mentioned, and how do they respond to God’s rule?
  6. In the kingdom of God “light” and “joy” “is sown for the righteous” (v11). What do you think the Psalmist means to say?

Personal relfection and prayer

God is an awesome King who rules in righteousness and justice; even in the Old Testament the coming of his kingdom was anticipated and celebrated.

  1. Reflect on your government and its political arena. Can you say of it that “righteousness and justice are the foundation” of this government?  Why/ why not?
    1. Pray for God’s kingdom to come – starting in your heart and home! Then pray for “righteousness and justice” in your land.
  2. Reflect on the society of today. Would you rather describe it as being “joyful” or “fearful”? Why/why not?
    1. Pray for God’s kingdom to come – starting in your heart and home! Pray that “Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets… And [that] the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.” (Zechariah 8:4-5)

Motivational Gifts 2 – the perceiver

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the perceiver (also called “prophet”).


Luke 3:1-20

1  …the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3  And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

4  As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5  Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, 6  and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'”

7  He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8  Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9  Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  10  And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?”  11  And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

12  Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”  13  And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”

14  Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

15  As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16  John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17  His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18  So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.

19  But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20  added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.


Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the character and motives of John the Baptist to better understand the motivational gifts of the perceiver / prophet. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) each person is born with which drives his/her actions.

  1. Perceiver / prophetically motivated people generally have the following characteristics. How can you identify them in the personality and ministry of John the Baptist?  Comment and give verse references from the Scripture above.
    1. Honesty and truth is central to their life.
    2. They have a strong sense of justice and have a strong sense of conviction.
    3. They are driven by obedience, and seek to move others towards it.
    4. They crave sincerity and despise hypocrisy – they want to see change in others.
    5. Their life radiates moral excellence and goodness, and inspire that in others.
    6. They are generally confident people who speak up for the truth even if it hurts.
  2. Where did John the Baptist spend most of his time? What does that suggest of the relationships of the perceiver motivated person?
  3. Considering the imprisonment and later execution of John the Baptist (Luke 9:7-9), what honorable characteristic do we see in perceiver motivated people? [hint: why was he locked up and later killed?]


  1. Looking at John the Baptist as an example of a perceiver / prophetically gifted person – what should a person with this motivational gift be cautious of when confronting people? [hint: how can they be easily misunderstood in terms of their behavior?]
  2. Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider perceiver motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?

Application and Prayer

Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now: www.gifttest.org

  1. Are you a strong perceiver / prophet motivated person? Considering the life example of John the Baptist:
    1. What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
    2. What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others?
    3. What must you cherish with all your heart and guard with all your strength? [hint: if you betray this you betray yourself and your witness falls apart]
    4. Thank God for how he made you, and pray that you may grow in a love for the truth, a sensitivity to His Spirit, for confidence and humility to speak the truth in love, and lastly for grace to walk in integrity all your days.
  2. Who do you know that are strongly perceiver / prophet motivated?
    1. Thank them for their good influence in your life – be specific about what they have challenged you with and how that helped you walk in righteousness and the fear of God.
    2. Thank God for them and their influence for the good in your life. Pray that God will bless with a greater love for the truth, sensitivity to His Spirit, greater boldness and humility to speak the truth in love, and that they may live true to their God-given conscience.