11 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:
“‘Father, hallowed be your name
Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.
Last week we looked at how prayer can seem strange. We are talking to someone that we cannot see. We saw that it was the common practice of Jesus and teaching of Jesus to get alone to pray. It is helpful to be where it is quiet.
Did any of you focus on praying to God more/better this week? Did it have any impact on your life? I think we should do an experiment. We should set aside some regular time when things are quiet in our lives. A time when interruptions are less likely and we should sit with God. Now, I don’t say this out of condemnation. I know that it is much easier for me since I have tons of quiet time attached to my job, but nonetheless, focused attention on talking to God, let’s build that into our lives. And I would appreciate it if some of you would send me an email after doing this for a couple of weeks so I could share a testimony with the church.
There are many examples of prayer in the Bible. Most of the prayers that are demonstrated ask God to act on behalf of a desire of someone. And that is covered in Jesus’ response to His Disciples, but that is not all that is here. And that is not our issue with God in prayer either. We pray and if the issue is resolved to our satisfaction, then we are grateful and we move on. If the issue is not resolved, then we can lose heart. I think that the way that Jesus instructs the Disciples to pray is meant to help with understanding why prayer works the way that it does so that we will not lose heart.
And that is why it is so exciting that Jesus taught His Disciples to pray!
Jesus says to us all, “pray this way”
What did He say? Pray, Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
We spoke last week about the ability to call God Father, this week we will look at the significance of God’s name.
- The Significance of Knowing God’s Name
- Name and authority are connected
In Genesis 2:20 God gave Adam the right to rule over His creation. And a part of that is the right to name the animals. God does not give Adam the right to name God. In fact, God names Adam. This is not an insignificant point. So, the right to name something indicates authority.
Romans 1 says that all people have access to information about God because of the created world.
The “invisible qualities” of God’s eternal power and His divine nature are seen clearly in what has been created. This is why most people are not atheists. And it is why there have been arguments for the existence for God from many different perspectives for a long, long time. (There have also been atheists for a long time.)
But, most people who believe in God do not follow Jesus Christ. They do not accept the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the one true personal God. They do not accept that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth given to Him. So, there is more information necessary than just what we understand through general revelation in the created world.
- Name and character are connected
This is why the conversation between Moses and God is so important in Exodus 3: because it is here that God tells Moses his personal name! 1Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[d] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation.
In many ways, this is the ground zero of revelation in the Bible. Moses is the author of Genesis. Genesis means beginnings. Obviously, Genesis consists of two main sections: Chapters 1-11 get us to Abraham, the first of the fathers of the Jewish people. And then chapters 12 to 50 expound on the interaction between the God at the burning bush and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Genesis ends with the Israelites in Egypt. They have been there for hundreds of years and they are slaves for many of the last of those years. The last message of Genesis is this: “What you meant for evil, God meant for good, the saving of many lives.” Suffering has a redemptive purpose.
- God’s name is I AM
I am who I am. “I will be what I will be.” God is self-defining and self-revealing. He is the only being in existence who is the way that He is.
Names for God: Elohim: Translated in our Bibles as God.
Adonai: Translated in our Bibles as Lord.
YHWH: This is the biggie. YHWH is the name given to Moses at the burning bush. It is translated in our Bibles as LORD. And it is God’s covenant name. But it doesn’t have any vowels. So, it can’t be said. But, if you take the A out of Adonai and the E out of Elohim and put those vowels between the consonants, then you get Yahweh. And a derivative of Yahweh is Jehovah with has an extra O vowel and the A and E reversed.
- Names for God as descriptions
There are many!!! They are easily googled, just makes sure you are not in “cult territory”. The cults make hay on this issue and end up with weird teachings. Usually multiple Gods or some such thing.
El compounds. Examples:
El Shaddai: God almighty: Genesis 17: When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty[a]; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
El Roi: Genesis 16: 13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[c] the One who sees me.”
Genesis 14: 18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And praise be to God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
YHWH (Jehovah) compounds:
Jehovah Jireh: Yaweh will provide. Abraham at the sacrifice of Isaac:
Genesis 22: 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
Jehovah Nissi: Yaweh is my banner. Exodus 17: 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.
Jehovah Shalom: Yaweh is my peace. Judges 6:24
22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”
23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”
24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace.
Genesis chapters 1 and 2
Different names, different authors. That is the critical theory since the 1700’s. It is very popular. But here is the point of the text:
God as creator: Elohim. The more generic name for God, like God.
God in relationship with Adam and Eve: Yaweh Elohim. LORD God. More information. Yahweh is God’s covenant name! If you will have a personal relationship with God, Yahweh is for you!
Jesus in John 8: Before Abraham was born, I AM. John 18: Jesus at His arrest: Whom do you seek: Jesus of Nazareth, “I AM” Jesus replies and they all fall down.
Many Old Testament references to the temple being the place where God has “Put His name”
- What does Hallowed Mean?
Admire, approve of, glorify, hero worship, honor, revere. When we admire the name of God, we are admiring God Himself.
- All authority in heaven and earth
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Six times in John 14-16 Jesus tells His Disciples that they will in the future ask God for things “in my name”
John 16: 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name.