Praying the Names of God

by Lisa Hall, international prayer coordinator for TWR Women of Hope

A person’s name is important; it identifies who she is.

In honor of both of my grandmothers, Elsie and Elizabeth, my parents named me Lisa. I longed to know more of my namesakes and was told I had so many of their qualities. But the meaning of my name was even more important to me. It was displayed on a plaque in my room:

Lisa – Consecrated One – “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him” (Lam. 3:24).

Each day I was reminded that I was consecrated to God, set apart for him. And I desired to live out the meaning of my name.

In the Bible, God reveals himself to us through his names. They often tell us much about his character, describe his attributes and show how he desires to relate to us, his children. When we have an accurate view of God, it becomes the lens through which we view and live out our lives. When we learn and pray God’s names, we proclaim them and their truth over our lives and world. We are reaching out in faith to God, showing that we trust that he will act and be what his name declares.

When God appeared to Moses in a burning bush and Moses asked his name, God replied, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you’” (Exod. 3:14). The Hebrew meaning does show self-existence, but it is more. It connotes that God is ever-present with his people, focusing his attention, power and grace on them. For the first time, God has shared with the Israelites his personal name, “I AM,” which was written as YHWH in Hebrew. This is often translated as Yahweh or Jehovah, and Bibles often represent this name with capital letters: LORD.

We too can call on the name of Yahweh, the ever-present God who is near his people. Many times in Scripture, characteristics of God are combined with his personal name. We can pray to:

Yahweh Yireh – The LORD Will Provide (Gen. 22:14). What needs are you trusting God to provide as you live for him?

Yahweh Tsevaoth – The LORD of Hosts (1 Sam. 17:45). David defeated Goliath in this name. What giants are you facing in your life? Ask the LORD of angel armies to fight on your behalf.

Yahweh Rophe – The LORD Our Healer (Exod. 15:25-26, Ps. 6:2-3). Through Jesus, God desires to bring us physical, moral and spiritual healing. Trust him and pray to him for your holistic healing of mind, body and soul.

Consider how you can pray these names of God: Yahweh Osenu – The LORD Our Maker (Ps. 95:6); Yahweh Nissi – The LORD Our Banner –(Exod. 17:15); Yahweh Tsuri – The LORD My Rock (Deut. 32:4); Yahweh Shalom – The LORD Our Peace (Judg. 6:24), Yahweh Tsidqenu – The LORD Our Righteousness (Jer. 33:16); El Roi – The God Who Sees Me (Gen. 16:13); El Shaddai – God Almighty (Gen. 17:1); El Emunah – Faithful God (Deut. 32:4).

My favorite passage is when God describes himself.

The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished” (Exod. 34:6-7).

Be strengthened in your faith and grow in your intimacy with God as you pray to him using his many beautiful names!