Praise God’s Name

From the book How to Pray

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name,” Christ’s model prayer begins (Matthew 6:9). In our daily prayers, we should “hallow,” or put holy value on, God’s name.

God has many names in Scripture. Thayer’s Lexicon says the Hebrew word for name “is used for everything which the name covers,” including “one’s rank, authority, interests, pleasure, commands, excellences, deeds, etc.” God’s names reveal His high rank, authority, interests, deeds and, most importantly, righteous character. God has many names because no one name can adequately express His fullness. Each name carries important meaning.

‘Our Father’

At the opening of your prayer when you address the Father first, you could venerate Him for names specific to His office and position in the Family.

Abba Father: “Abba” is a Hebrew word similar to “Daddy.” Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6.

Father of Lights: Through creation, God “fathered” all the magnificent lights in the firmament. James 1:17.

Father of Mercies: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

The Most High, the Highest: Old Testament names for the God who became the Father. Genesis 14:18-20, 22; Psalm 18:13; 82:6; Isaiah 14:14. Also Luke 1:32, 76; 6:35.

‘Which Art in heaven’

The phrase “which art [or who is] in heaven” highlights God’s eternal existence: the fact that He inhabits eternity (Isaiah 57:15) and never sleeps (Psalm 121:3-4).

Everlasting: Genesis 21:33; Isaiah 9:6; 40:28. The word can mean “forever.” 1 Timothy 1:17.

The Living God: 16 times in the Old Testament; 14 in the New Testament. God is alive!

I Am That I Am: Exodus 3:14. The Hebrew word for “am” can be past, present and future tense, so this name could be rendered: “I Was, I Am, and I Will Be.”

Ancient of Days: Daniel 7:9, 13, 22.

God of Our Fathers: God introduced Himself as “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” (Exodus 3:15-16). He was deeply involved in the lives of these spiritual giants. Acts 3:13; 7:32.

Alpha-Omega: Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13. The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet; Christ is the beginning and the end. He has “neither beginning of days, nor end of life” (Hebrews 7:3). 1 John 1:1; Revelation 3:14.

‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’

There are many more names that refer to God:

God: The Hebrew for God in the Old Testament is Elohim, a word like family: a single entity composed of more than one part. John 1:1 shows that both God and the Word are “God”—like a father and son both named “Smith.”

Lord: This all-caps word in the King James Old Testament comes from the letters yhwh. It means “the Self-Existent” or “Eternal.” This name usually refers to the God of the Old Testament, who became Jesus Christ.

Lord God of Hosts: This phrase appears in about 270 verses, and “God of hosts” in over 30 more. God is a God of armies (what the Hebrew word for “hosts” means).

Long-suffering: Exodus 34:6. God suffers long; He is patient with us and “slow to anger.” Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 103:8; 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Nahum 1:3.

Abundant in Goodness and Truth: Exodus 34:6. Goodness is usually translated “mercy,” and truth shows God’s faithfulness or reliability.

Holy: John 17:11; Luke 1:49; Psalm 111:9; Isaiah 57:15; 43:15; Habakkuk 1:12.

Righteous: John 17:25; Jeremiah 23:6.

Creator: Ecclesiastes 12:1; Isaiah 40:28; 43:15; Romans 1:25; 1 Peter 4:19.

Lord of the Harvest: Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2. Jesus told us to pray that more laborers would be sent for the Work, “harvest” depicting God’s plan to save the world.

Judge: Isaiah 33:22; Genesis 18:25; Acts 10:42; Hebrews 12:23; Malachi 2:17. Only God can properly punish, righteously reward, justly judge, and execute true justice!

Lawgiver: James 4:12; Deuteronomy 33:2.

King: God rules His creation, though He has allowed Satan to be god of this world until deposed (2 Corinthians 4:4). Christ will return as “King of kings” (Revelation 17:14; 19:16), sharing rule with humans born into His Family.

Healer: Exodus 15:26. God identifies Himself as yhwh-Rapha, meaning “The Eternal Our Healer.” Psalm 103:3; 107:17-20. Christ lived as a human and was brutally beaten so that “with his stripes” we could be healed (Isaiah 53:5).

Redeemer: Isaiah 63:16. A redeemer is someone who buys back, restores or recovers. God rescues us from the bondage of Satan, paying with Jesus’s blood (Acts 20:28).

JAH: Psalm 68:4. Pronounced “yah,” this shortened version of yhwh is contained in the word Hallelujah (literally: “praise the Lord”).

Almighty: Genesis 17:1; 35:11. This name can mean omnipotent or all-powerful. Jeremiah 32:18; Isaiah 9:6; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 1:8; 21:22.

Adonai: This word literally means “headship.” God is our Head; He must rule us. Christ is the Head of the Church (Colossians 2:19). Adonai includes the sense of God blessing; it could be translated, “Our Head who blesses.”

Rock: 2 Samuel 22:2-3; Psalm 31:3; 42:9; 62:6; Deuteronomy 32:4, 15, 18, 30; 1 Corinthians 10:4. Christ is also represented as the chief cornerstone in a building (Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42; Ephesians 2:20). This indicates God’s strong, enduring character and nature.

Jesus Christ

Finally, consider some names specific to the Son of God, who sits at God’s right hand in the third heaven.

Jesus Christ: Matthew 1:21. Jesus comes from a Hebrew word meaning “the Eternal is salvation.” Christ means anointed—as in the anointed one, or the Messiah. Jesus Christ is the name through which we can pray to the Father (John 14:13-14; 16:23-26).

Son of Man: Born of a physical woman (Matthew 1:18), He is now in glorified spirit form (Luke 21:27; 22:69; John 13:31; Acts 7:56). This name connects Christ to mankind and shows our transcendent spiritual potential!

Advocate: 1 John 2:1. Christ intercedes on our behalf when we sin.

Husband: Christ is “husband,” or “bridegroom,” to the Church. 2 Corinthians 11:2; John 3:29; Matthew 9:14-15; Mark 2:19-20; Luke 5:34-35.

Melchizedek: The God who later became Jesus manifested Himself in physical form in Abraham’s day (Genesis 14:18-20; Hebrews 7:1-3). Melchizedek means “King of righteousness.” He was King of Salem, and “abideth a priest continually,” the Priest of God, and our High Priest. Hebrews 4:14-15; 6:20; 9:11.

Messenger of the Covenant: Malachi 3:1. In His ministry, Christ proclaimed a message about the coming Kingdom of God (Matthew 4:23; Mark 1:14; Luke 8:1) and the marriage covenant God is making with His people.

Lamb: Christ is described as a lamb slain for our sins. Revelation 5:12; 13:8; John 1:29; Isaiah 53:7, 10.

Lion of the Tribe of Judah: Revelation 5:5. The lion is known for its power, dominance and boldness (Proverbs 28:1). We are assured victories if He is on our side.

Bright and Morning Star: Revelation 22:16; 1:13-16; 21:23.

Captain: Joshua 5:14-15. Christ is the military commander of God’s armies! Hebrews 2:10.

Prince of Peace: This Messiah preached peace (Luke 2:14; Acts 10:36), and at His Second Coming will enforce peace (Isaiah 2:1-4). Isaiah 9:7.

The Branch: Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12. Jesus was born from the family of David, a “branch” from that line (Isaiah 11:1), but also the “Root of David” (Revelation 5:5). Revelation 22:16.

Shepherd: John 10:11, 14; 1 Peter 5:4; 2:25; Psalm 80:1. Christ cares for those in His charge.

Continue Reading: 5: The Blessings of Intercessory Prayer