The Name of God
This post is not about using an exact name or being proper in pronouncing the name or even dropping vowels in order to give respect to the name of God. This post is about the character of God as we call upon His name through prayer.
Psalm 9:10 states, “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”
The verse could well read, they that know God’s character will put their trust in Him, because the term name, in a biblical sense, stands for character. To the ancients the act naming was one of bequeathing character. The name of a person is more than the spelling, the syllables, or the letters used, it is representative of who the person is.
As Christians we regularly pray “in Jesus’ name” because we do not pray in our character but in Christ’s character. Father God has no obligation to grant a request to a sinful human but when we pray in faith through the character of His Son Jesus our prayers become about His worth not ours.
When we go to the posture of prayer, it is good to pause and focus upon the character of God. Jesus taught us to pray, “Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9) which means that He is holy. We pray to a God with a holy character and in pause to consider His character we know that He has the ability to answer and authority over the very thing troubling you.
In the Old Testament we find eight names of God that are compound names, which reveal a character trait. These compound names of God can challenge us as we consider His character in prayer. Including these compound names of God into your prayer will also enrich your prayer life and reward your relationship with God.
Here are the compound names of God:
1) In Genesis 22:14 we read that our God is Jehovah-Jirah, meaning He is the Lord our Provider: “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day,” In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.”
Are you praying for a physical, financial, or insufficiency need? Is a particular success needed? Is the prayer request regarding a concern for funds to cover the rent and the baby’s diapers? Why not purpose your prayer toward your Lord – your Provider, Jehovah-jireh?
2) In Exodus 15:26 we read that our God is Jehovah-Rophe, meaning He is the Lord our Healer: “And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that health thee.”
Are you praying for a medical, health, or healing need? Is a particular restoration needed? Is the prayer request regarding the chemotherapy of a loved one? Why not purpose your prayer toward your Lord – your Healer, Jehovah-rophe?
3) In Exodus 17:15 we read that our God is Jehovah-Nissi, meaning He is the Lord our Banner: “And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi.”
Are you praying for an issue of direction, confidence, or assertive need? Is a particular assurance needed? Is the prayer request regarding the confidence to do what is right when circumstances make it hard? Why not purpose your prayer toward your Lord – your Banner, Jehovah-nissi?
The ‘banner’ spoken of here can be understood in terms of our Stars & Strips. When our American troops go into battle they go against the enemy under the authority of the United States of America. The flag is the banner under which a single soldier goes forth with the full backing of all the resources, protection, and support of the USA.
4) In Leviticus 20:8 we read that our God is Jehovah-M’kaddesh, meaning He is the Lord our Sancifier: “And ye shall keep my statues, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you.”
Are you praying for a spiritual, holiness, or obedience need? Is a particular commitment needed? Is the prayer request regarding fear of following Christ, because of expectancy to fail in the Christian life? Why not purpose your prayer toward your Lord – your Sanctifier, Jehovah-m’kaddesh?
5) In Judges 6:24 we read that our God is Jehovah-Shalom, meaning He is the Lord our Peace: “Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”
Are you praying for peace of mind, contentment, or harmony? Is a particular emotional release needed? Is the prayer request regarding a struggle dealing with bereavement from death or divorce? Why not purpose your prayer toward your Lord – your Peace, Jehovah-shalom?
6) In Psalms 23:1 we read that our God is Jehovah-Rohi, meaning He is the Lord our Shepherd: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Are you praying for an issue of guidance, submission, or leadership need? Is a particular nurturing needed? Is the prayer request regarding the want of wisdom? Why not purpose your prayer toward your Lord – your Shepherd, Jehovah-rohi?
7) In Jeremiah 23:6 we read that our God is Jehovah-Tisdkenu, meaning He is the Lord our Righteousness: “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.”
Are you praying for salvation, forgiveness, or spiritual security need? Is a particular deliverance needed? Is the prayer request regarding the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? Why not purpose your prayer toward your Lord – your Righteousness, Jehovah-tisdkenu?
8) In Ezekiel 48:35 we read that our God is Jehovah-Shammah, meaning He is the Lord our Present God: “and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.“
Are you praying for an issue of aloneness, answer to prayer, or a divine presence need? Is a particular assurance or hope needed? Is the prayer request regarding an assurance of God’s involvement? Why not purpose your prayer toward your Lord – the Ever-Present One, Jehovah-shammah?
Too often well-meaning Christians get side tracked from the spirit of the law and worry about a legalistic compliance to a particular name of God or way to use a name of God. Just know that God is God and their is no special formula of letters required to get His attention.
The name of God is the expression of His character and that is holy. As we go to prayer, may we begin to practice praising His character before we cite our petitions.