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Mornings In The College Chapel by Francis Greenwood Peabody



Exodus xx.1-7.

I suppose that to many a reader the prayer: |Holy be Thy name,| means little more than: |Let me not be profane; help me to keep myself from blasphemy.| But it is not likely that Jesus began his prayer with any such elementary desire as this; or that our first prayer need be only a prayer to be kept from irreverence. The name of God to the Hebrews was much more than a title. His name represented all His ways of revelation. The Hebrews did not speak the name of God. It was a word too sacred for utterance. Thus the man who begins the Lord's Prayer in that Hebrew spirit first summons to his thought the things which are the most sacred in the world to him, the thoughts and purposes which stand to him for God; the associations, memories, and ideals which make life holy, and asks that these may lead him into his own prayer. {208} What he says is this: |My Father, and the Father of all other souls, renew within me my most sacred thoughts and all the holy associations which are to me the symbol of Thyself. Give to me a sense of the sanctity of the world. Set me in the right mood of prayer. And as I thus reverently look out on Thy varied ways of revelation and of righteousness, help me to bring my own spirit into this unity with Thyself, to make a part of Thy holy world, and humbly to begin my prayer by hallowing Thy name.|

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