Secrets of the Lord's Prayer: Interacting with God by Reflecting on His Names
In his book Exposition of the Gospel according to Matthew, William Hendrickson says, "In ancient times the name was not generally regarded as a mere appellation to distinguish one person from another, but often rather as an expression of the very nature of the person so indicated, or of his position, etc."
A name was more than just a way to tell one person apart from another; one's name declared who that person was -- what they were all about!
If the goal of Matthew 6:9 is to hallow God's name through worship, another way to do that beyond creative expression, such as music, painting, dancing, and so on, is to spend some time on the names of God. You really can experience the wonder of God by reflecting on His names. When was the last time you went through a list of the names of God and reflected on who He really is? Allow the majesty, immensity, and wonder of God overwhelm you. If God highlights a particular name, then look up those verses and push into worshipping and adoring God through that name. He may want that aspect of Himself to be known more fully by you.
I must say that I love this exercise -- to just read the list of His names and contemplate the majesty of God. I look at the Scriptures where we find these aspects of God's being mentioned and remind myself when God has been those things for me.
I've listed a partial list of God's names below. Read slowly and prayerfully through these titles and names of God and allow one or two to stand out. Begin praising God that He is this name. Think of when He has been that for you. Go back and remember the times when you have seen God work in these ways. Describe how you need God to be that for you in this present situation. Ask Him to come through in these ways.
You approach God on this intimate familial basis by calling Him Father, but now is the time to constantly remind yourself how impressive and significant God is through the rehearsing of His names.
YAHWEH: Yahweh is the covenant name of God. From the hebrew verb "to be," "The Self-Existent One." Exodus 3.14 This could be thought of describing God as the Ever-living One, the One who is life in Himself. He is the great source of all life. This is the personal name of God that He shares with those He invites into covenant with Him.
YAHWEH - JIREH: "God the Source of Life will Provide" Genesis. 22:14.
YAHWEH - ROPHE: "God the Source of Life who Heals" Exodus 15:22-26
YAHWEH - M'KADDESH: "God the Source of Life who Sanctifies" Leviticus. 20:8. "To make whole, set apart for holiness." The idea is that God sets a person apart for His purposes and their highest purpose.
YAHWEH - SHALOM: "God the Source of Life - Our Peace," Judges 6:24. "Shalom" translated "peace" 170 times means "whole," "finished," "fulfilled.", God always brings harmony, beauty and order out of chaos.
SHEPHERD: Psalm 23; The One who is dedicated to protection, direction and provision
YAHWEH-ROHI: "God the Source of Life, Our Shepherd, Isaiah 40:11
JUDGE: The One who decides, who passes judgment, who administrates justice, who rules the boundaries of your life. This is shaphat in the Hebrew. Psalm 96:13
YAHWEH ELOHIM: "God the Source of Life who is the Creator, Transcendent, Mighty God," Genesis. 2:4
YAHWEH - TSIDKENU: "God the Source of Life who is our Righteousness," Jeremiah 23:5, 6, 33:16. The only reason we have any righteousness before a Holy God is because of what God has done for us and given us.
If you would like a fuller treatment of the understanding of these names of God and the rich tapestry that they weave about who God is, then look in my book Touching the Face of God: 40 Days of Adoring God.
I would love to hear from you and your experience with God your Father. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, your greatest life is just ahead.
In His service,
P.S. Want more of Life Is Relationships? Click here for past issues!
 Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, p. 327). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
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