Names of God in Prayer

Wednesday’s post came from one of my favourite Old Testament accounts: King Jehoshaphat and the invading hordes. (See “Confident that God is at Work”)

Another of my favourites is the story of Joshua leading the nation of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. You can read about it in Joshua 3.

Here’s the pep talk Joshua gives the people before they set out:

Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

Joshua 3:9-13, NIV* Emphasis mine.

In that short passage, look at how Joshua refers to God:  “the LORD your God… the living God… the Lord of all the earth (twice)”.

Knowing and reminding ourselves of the names of God can affirm and strengthen our faith.

Joshua chose traits the people needed to remember for the journey ahead. He knew they needed to keep their faith strong in a land of giants.

I always love it when public prayer goes beyond “Dear God” and the leader picks one or two relevant character attributes to address the need: “God of comfort and grace, All-wise and knowing God, God who formed us and knows our weakness…”

It’s a good way to encourage our faith.

Do you have a favourite name for God in prayer?

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

2 thoughts on “Names of God in Prayer

  1. Ginny Jaques

    That’s a good question, Janet. I have to think about it. It might be “Holy One.” Sometimes I love to think about God’s holiness, because that’s totally about Him, and now and then (not often 😉 I get tired of thinking about myself, even in relation to God. I think about how He exists apart from everything and everyone else, and somehow that’s refreshing to me–to realize the awesomeness of the ultimate Reality that stands apart and above all else that exists. Even if we did not exist, God would. For some reason, I like that.


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