How many names do you have? If you’re in the Western world I’m guessing three or maybe four. A first name, middle name, and a last name. How did your parents or family decide to name you? To honour a loved one? A name from the Bible? A name with significant meaning? Or maybe a name that just sounded nice?
In today’s world names don’t mean as much as they used to. They’re still important and parents put a lot of thought into what to name their child (I know I did) but in Bible times names were considered to reveal the character or trait of a person. If you’re name meant love then that meant you were a loving person.
God has many names and these names reveal His character. When we just call Him “God” we might not think too much about what that reveals about His character, but what about when you call Him Father? Then you are probably thinking about His fatherly characteristics, how He cares for us like a father cares for his child. There are so many names for God found in the Bible that reveal His character to us.
So why do we need more than one name to call God by? Well, having these other names to call Him can deepen our relationship with Him and enhance our prayer life. When we are reflecting on God’s character we cannot help but worship Him for who He is. Recognizing and knowing who God is results in worship because that is just how amazing He is. We are going to look at 5 of the names of God found in the Bible, maybe you are already familiar with these names but I hope that you can have some new insight into these names and how to use them in your daily prayer life.
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#1. Jehovah-Jireh (The Lord Who Provides)
Scripture: Genesis 22:13-14
And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide,” as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”
Jehovah-Jireh is probably one of the first names of God that people learn. For one thing, it is easy to pronounce and it is in a lot of songs so in general it just comes up a lot. An important part of understanding this name is to know that the word jireh (or yireh) is derived from the Hebrew word raah which means “to see.” Part of the way God provides for us is by foreseeing our needs. Even before we ask, God can provide for us the thing we need.
In your life has there ever been a time that God provided for your needs? Was there a time you asked for it and He provided, or was there ever a time that He provided before it even truly became a need? He knew what you needed and He was able to provide for you. Reflect on this instance of His provision as you also reflect on His name.
When you pray, try to use this name in your prayer. When you are asking God for something call out to Him as Jehovah-Jireh, recognize God as one who can provide. We cannot ask God for something but at the same time think that He cannot do it. When you pray consider praying like this,
“Jehovah-Jireh, I know that you can provide for me, you are my provider. Please help our family with this need that we have.”
#2. Elohim (The All-Powerful Creator)
Scripture: Deuteronomy 10:17
For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.
The name Elohim is actually the first name of God found in the Bible, found in Genesis, and is used throughout the Old Testament over 2,300 times! The name means The All-Powerful Creator, which is fitting for God’s character of course because He is the Creator of the entire universe. Sometimes it can be hard to comprehend this because we are really so small compared to God. I cannot in words really convey how amazing God’s creation is to you, but I would encourage you to spend some time in nature to see for yourself.
Remembering that God is the creator of absolutely everything can be very comforting when we face unpredictable circumstances. There are always going to be things in our life that we have no control over, but it is reassuring to know that we have a God who is the ruler over all of these things. Take for instance a scary weather situation in your area, which may be a hurricane, tornado or dangerously icy roads. We can’t control these situations even though they affect us, but we can pray to the God who created these things. Take comfort in the Creator.
How can you incorporate the name Elohim into your prayers? Try thinking about what it means to you to worship the Creator of the universe. Think about how that also means God created you and knows everything about you, what you are thinking and feeling, what you are going through in life. Try using the name Elohim in your prayer like this,
“Elohim, I praise and adore You are the all-powerful creator. You are Creator and I am the creation.”
#3. Jehovah-Shalom (The Lord is Peace)
Scripture: Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
In the book of Judges we read about Gideon seeing the Angel of the LORD face to face, and the Angel of the LORD assures him he would not die. Gideon then builds an alter to the LORD and calls it “The LORD is Peace,” (Judges 6:24) and that’s where Jehovah-Shalom comes from.
Shalom translates to peace but it means so much more than that. It also means safety, wholeness and perfection. An important part of peace is also harmony and unity, and these are characteristics of God and characteristics He expects from us. In your life, you might find it hard to truly live at peace with everyone, I don’t mean simply to be generally kind to everyone but to actually have unity with them. I can think of a few people in my life who I have struggled to have unity with, yes, even in ministry. This is where I need to pray to Jehovah-Shalom, especially when I am having a conflict with someone. Since God, Himself is peace I know that by seeking Him I will be able to find peace in my own life.
Using this name during prayer can really help us focus in on the ability God has to bring peace, and unity, to our tough situations, especially those involving other people. Here is one way you might use the name Jehovah-Shalom in a prayer,
“Jehovah-Shalom, please help me as I deal with conflict in my marriage. Please bring unity back into my household. Show us Your way and how to love each other with wholeness, unity and peace.”
#4. El Olam (The Eternal God)
Scripture: Psalm 90:1-2
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you have formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
The name of God El Olam means the eternal, or everlasting God. Eternity can be a hard concept for us to grasp because literally everything else around us has a beginning and an end, even the mountains which seem like they have been there forever still they are not eternal. El Olam has no beginning and no end. When we pray to Him using this name it reminds us of His power over time and His authority of eternity. Have you ever prayed for something and felt discouraged when God didn’t answer your prayer immediately? Sometimes God can do something for us as soon as we ask, and other times it can take longer. Are there any other wives here who prayed for a husband and it took a while to get him? You might have felt frustrated and impatient while you were waiting, but when the right man finally came along it was worth the wait wasn’t it? When we ask God for something we need to trust His timing, and we also need to remember His power over time. We can often be in a rush but God has eternity.
When I pray using the name El Olam I am often thinking about God’s power so I use it also with Elohim. Praying with this name gives me a sense of peace when I am worried about the things in my life.
When you want to pray using the name El Olam you can pray something like this,
“El Olam, You have no end. You are the Alpha and the Omega and I put my trust in You. I know that Your timing is perfect in all areas of my life.”
#5. Yaweh Rophe (The Lord Who Heals)
Scripture: Exodus 15:26
Saying, “If you diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer.”
In Hebrew the word “rophe” means to heal, restore or to make whole. God is the source of all healing and He revealed Himself as The LORD Who Heals to the Israelites after they left Egypt. There is no sickness or disease that is stronger than God, He has the ability to cure anyone. He is Yaweh Rophe, the LORD who heals. Not only can God heal us and the ones we love from our physical sicknesses, but He can also forgive us from our sins, which eternally speaking, is much more important. We should always take the time to talk to God if we have committed a sin, and while doing so remember that He is your healer. There is no sin “too big” or “too bad” that God cannot heal for He has power over it all.
When you are praying for healing remember to pray to God using His name, Jehovah Rophe. Here is one way you might use that name in a prayer,
“Jehovah-Rophe, I come before You asking for healing in my life both physically and spiritually. Please forgive me for the sin I committed today, and also please heal the sickness that I am dealing with. I know that you are Jehovah-Rophe and you have the power to heal me.”
As you can see, just by briefly touching on 5 names of God, they are very powerful and have a place in our prayers. These names reveal 5 amazing things about God, and there are even more. Right now I want to challenge you to really get comfortable with each of these names and their meanings. Repeat the name over and over with its meaning until it is stuck in your head. Next time you pray try to use one or more of the names in your prayer. As you pray dwell on what the name tells us about God’s character. Remembering who God really is when you pray is very important because sometimes we can lose focus of who we are really talking to – but we are talking to Elohim, the all-powerful creator!