What’s in a name? Part 2
As Christians we often talking about praising God’s name or we pray in the name of Jesus. But what do these phrases mean?
The names of God
Throughout the Old Testament we read about the different names of God. These represent aspects of His nature. Finding out about all these names makes a great study and helps us understand a little more about God. Here are a few to start with:
• Jehovah Jireh: The LORD our provider (Genesis 22:14)
• Jehovah Rapha: The LORD our Healer (Exodus 15:26)
• Jehovah Shalom: The LORD our Peace (Judges 6:24)
What does it mean to praise God’s name?
We tend to use the word praise interchangeably with the word worship. Tom wrote about worship in this blog post. He wrote:
The heart of worship is essentially the work of God the Father through His creation and re-creation through Jesus on the cross. This leads us to be certain in our identity as children of God loved by Him. When we acknowledge God’s nature and character, His work in redemption and give Him glory for this we will fall more in love with Jesus.
Praise is thanking God for what he has done, is doing, and continues to do. Praise is telling of his wonderful acts and lifting his great name to the highest heavens.
I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
through all generations.
However when we praise the name of God we are also saying that we will accept God’s sovereignty. We are accepting that God is in charge whether he answers our prayers with a yes, a no or a wait. It’s important that we praise Him in the bad times as well as the good.
The child to come
Just as God has many names, so too does Jesus.
In this well-known passage, most often used during Advent, Isaiah prophesied about the coming of Jesus. In it Isaiah mentions some of the names by which Jesus will be known.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
In Jesus’ name
So often in the New Testament we read, “In my name,” “In Jesus’ name,” or “In his name.” The devils were powerless because of his name (Luke 10:17). The demons were cast out in his name (Mark 16:17-18). Healing occurred in his name (Acts 3:6, 3:16, 4:10). Salvation comes in his name (Acts 4:12, Rom. 10:13).
Everything we do and say is done in his name (Col. 3:17).
Jesus has invited and commanded us to pray in his name.
But what does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus?
When we pray in Jesus’ name:
• We are acknowledging that Jesus is more powerful than ourselves. We are submitting to Jesus’ authority which itself rests in Jesus’ submission to his Father.
• When we use his name, we are confessing that he is ours and we are his.
• We are asking by his authority for God to act upon our prayers because we come in the name of His Son, Jesus. Listen to Rob’s talks on authority.
• We are representing Jesus. It is much like the Power of Attorney that you can hold on behalf of someone else or being an Ambassador representing a country. Rob spoke about being an Ambassador of Christ.
• We are praying in line with the will of God (1 John 5:14-15). This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.
Let us continue to praise God and pray in the beautiful name of Jesus.
What a beautiful name