Prayer -The Confidence of Knowing God

Morning friends. Today’s prayer post is simply to encourage us to remember who it is that we are praying to – God our Father in heaven. It sounds so obvious but this simple truth can sometimes be overlooked. Focusing our minds on God and who He is gives us great confidence and builds our faith in our prayers.

The translated word “God” of itself does not convey fully all the aspects of God’s character from the original text and the names of God revealed in the Bible help to give us a much fuller understanding of who God is. The God who is on our side.

Imagine for a moment that you needed something urgently today. Who you would ask for help. Who would come to mind. Most of us would probably think of someone we knew could give us what we needed. Someone who would have the resources to help. No good asking someone with empty hands.

We would also need to feel comfortable asking that person for help. Confident that they would want to help us, either because of our relationship with them, or because we know them to be kind and generous. It would be in their nature to help.

When we have an informed understanding of God’s character as revealed in the Bible then we can have confidence in our prayer requests.

We may have the wrong impression of God either because of lack of knowledge, misunderstanding or projecting on to God characteristics which are not His that come from our own life experiences or relationships – good and bad. That will impact our prayer life. It’s important for us to take some time reflecting on whether that could be the case so we can put it right.

Our experiences don’t define who God is -His character as revealed in Scripture does.

We discover in the Bible that God definitely has the resources and ability to help us and that He also longs to do so. We are in relationship with God because of the work of salvation and our belief in His son, Jesus Christ who has redeemed us and brought us into relationship with God. We are God’s Children and He is a loving Father who desires to help us. We do need to understand what is pleasing to God. That way we know that our prayers are in line with God’s will – His purposes and plans.

So let us start our prayers with being determinedly God focused as we consider the different characteristics of God revealed by his names.

Jesus taught his followers that their prayers should start by being focused on who and where God is and acknowledging His glory- He is “Our FATHER – in heaven- and Hallowed be HIS NAME

Hallowed means to revere, worship, lift up and exalt HIS HOLY NAME. If Jesus said it then for me that is the best example to start my prayers. Giving praise to God by:

1 PROCLAIMING the truth of who God is;

2 ACKNOWLEDGING who God is to us in every aspect of our lives; and

3 CONTEMPLATING an aspect of God more deeply.

As we do, we cannot help but be stirred up in our faith. Our words become statements of faith reinforcing our understanding of God’s Character, His Works, His Wonders, His Glory. We proclaim our belief in God and His promises and His Word. Our eyes and our mind’s focus is on God (not ourselves or circumstances) whose thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours and who can do exceedingly more than we could ever think or imagine.

Names themselves have great significance in the Bible and in the spiritual realm. A name denotes not only character and identity but authority and power as well.

The Hebrew word for name is “onoma” and was used to signify rank or authority, character and reputation. Understanding this will help us to appreciate what it means when we pray in Jesus’ name and the authority and power in that name.

ELOHIM” – GOD THE CREATOR – Genesis 1:1 – This is the first name attributed to God in the Bible. GOD is revealed as the creator of heaven and earth who has all authority, power, greatness, dominion and glory in the whole of the universe. Elohim is the plural form because Jesus and the Holy Spirit were there at the beginning with God when the world was created.

As we meditate on that awesome truth, then in our prayers we acknowledge and thank God that He alone is the Creator and Sustainer of all things and that He is sovereign God. We acknowledge His glory and power demonstrated in creation.

My prayer for us today and the week ahead: Father God, the bible says that in the beginning you created the heavens and the earth. By your Word light was created and broke into the darkness. Jesus your son is the light of the world. Jesus is the living Word. We acknowledge today that you were before all things. There is none like you. You alone are the God of creation. You created us and all things that live and have breath on this earth. You alone are worthy of all praise and glory. You are seated on the throne in heaven. You are Sovereign and ruler of all things. Please take your rightful place in our lives today. We thank you today that you are mindful of us and that you love us and care for us. Help us today to grow in the knowledge and understanding of who you are as we read your Word and by the revelation of the Holy Spirit at work in us. Show us where we may be in error or have any false belief or understanding about you. Lead us into the Truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Have a blessed day my friends.

It’s a Wonderful Name

Choosing a name….. I asked my Mum the other day why she had decided to call me Nicola. I knew why she had called my brother, Ian. She wanted a really short name that couldn’t be turned into a nickname. Ian would always be Ian. It so didn’t work because my family all called him “E” usually shouted at high volume in one long “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee”.

My name, Nicola was just one of the names she happened to like. It didn’t have any specific meaning or significance for the family. My name gets shortened to a nickname all the time as you can imagine. I don’t think anyone calls me much by my full name anymore. It’s usually, Nic or Nikki.

Names give an impression and expectation but can get lost in translation. Our school ran an annual cultural exchange trip to France when you stayed with a local family who then returned to stayed with you. When I went I was the last kid left on the coach and I could see a bit of a kerfuffle outside amongst the teachers. It turned out that in France and much of Europe “Nicola” is a boy’s name and the poor family were expecting a boy. They weren’t prepared to receive a girl. Fortunately, there was also a sister, Fabienne, so she ended up being my exchange pal but her poor brother had to stay and wait another year. I was so what he wasn’t expecting by my name. What a disappointment to him but an unexpected gift to his sister.

There is a name that I have found never disappoints and it is Jesus Christ. When we choose to put out trust in that name it is life transforming, not only our present but also our future. The name of Jesus has power and authority.

Yesterday, as we celebrated Christmas our bible verses were:

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Jesus is given a lot of names and titles throughout the bible. Just in this one passage of scripture we read 5 of them. It made me think how I often overlook or “shorten” and don’t fully consider and understand the names given to Jesus, what it means for me as a believer now and the riches that are there waiting to be discovered in the names and character of Jesus. Getting to know more about Jesus through each facet revealed about Him in His names.

It’s something I’ll be delving into in the New Year to discover more about those names starting with “Wonderful” and sharing the riches of blessings in Christ our Lord.

Have a blessed day my friends.

What’s in a name?

Psalm 8:1 “ O Lord our God, the majesty and glory of your name fills all the earth and overflows the heavens”

Names are extremely significant.    They are used to identify and describe people.    People sometimes pick names for their children based on characteristics they hope that child will develop.    Some people’s names really suit them and others not so much.   Names become popular and then are picked because they happen to be the latest fashion.

There is authority & power associated with names.    A law or order signed in the name of the ruler of a nation has a seal of authenticity and is to be obeyed.   It signifies the will of that person and those subject to their authority will obey.

Some people will still “name drop” to get favoured treatment or bend the rules by pretending to be associated with a famous name or person.

Others go even further and will steal other people’s names & identity to get what they want.   Identity theft is one of the major crimes throughout the world.   Good names can be stolen and ruined in an instant.

The bible teaches us a lot about the character of God from the names which God reveals about himself and uses.    Jesus also introduced a new name for God – “Abba” meaning Father.

Matthew 6: 9-13 “Our FATHER in heaven, Hallowed be Your NAME

Hallowed means – to revere, sanctify, consecrate, set apart, worship, lift up, exalt HIS HOLY NAME

Names also have great significance in the Bible and in the spiritual realm.

The Hebrew word for name is “onoma” and was used to signify:

RANK OR AUTHORITY, CHARACTER AND REPUTATION

Every name of God in the Bible reveals a characteristic of God

 1. “ELOHIM” – GOD THE CREATOR – Genesis 1:1

GOD is revealed as the creator of heaven and earth who has all authority, power, greatness, dominion and glory in the whole of the universe.   This goes very much against current secular teachings.

Elohim is in the plural form because Jesus and the Holy Spirit were there at the beginning with God when the world was created.

It is humbling to think but actually I believe that man has never had an original thought or done anything new under the sun really.   We claim to create but I believe that God is the only true source of creative power.

We are taught in the bible that satan is also a created being & a counterfeiter.   He impersonates and steals identities.  He pretends to be what he is not.  We are warned to test things and not to just accept what we see on face value as there are false christs, false prophets, false teachers impersonating the truth.

2        “EL ELYON” – THE MOST HIGH GOD

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.

And blessed be God Most High,

who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

There is no-one or thing above God.

GOD occupies the highest position and throne.

God has the last word.   He cannot be over ruled.   If God has declared or decreed it – then it is coming to pass and no-one or nothing can stop His will being accomplished.

God has sent forth His Word and it will be performed.

3.  “JEHOVAH JIREH” – GOD OF PROVISION

Genesis 22:8-14 –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.”

God revealed himself to Abraham on Mount Moriah that he is the GOD of PROVISION.

God provided a ram for the sacrifice instead of Isaac. Abraham experienced the provision of God.

God later provided Jesus as the sacrifice for sin in our place so that we could be redeemed.

God shows his provision for His people all through the bible.  God can and does provide for our needs.    We still encounter His incredible provision for us.

The storehouses of heaven are not empty and God has all resources.  He can truly supply all our needs.

4.  ”EL – SHADDAI” – GOD ALMIGHTY -ALL POWERFUL

 Genesis 17:1 & Exodus 6:3

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty”

The literal translation “The God who is Enough”   “The All Powerful” “The one who is Self-Sufficient”

God is the source of all power.  Nothing or no-one is more powerful than God.

If He is for us then who can be against us.

5.  “JEHOVAH” – Exodus 3 v 13 “ I AM THE I AM.”

God reveals himself to Moses at the burning bush as the I AM.

God is saying in this statement that He is everything and also in everything.  He reveals himself as a HOLY GOD and tells Moses to take off his shoes because he is standing on holy ground.

God is going to demonstrate to the Israelites that He alone is everything to them:

Redeemer, Protector, Healer, Source of all Provision in the wilderness, Defeater of their enemies.

6.  “JEHOVAH RAPHA”HEALER

Exodus 15:26 – God reveals himself as the GOD WHO HEALS.

He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”

GOD reveals that it is in nature to heal and to sustain in health.   Jesus went about doing good and healing people.  He sent his disciples out with the power to heal and he uses His people today to bring healing in His name.   God is still in the business of healing people.

7.  “JEHOVAH NISSI”PROTECTOR

Exodus 17:15 – God is revealed as “The LORD is my BANNER”.

God revealed his protection of Israel by defeating their enemies the Amalekites.

Exodus 17:15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.

In the same theme there is also a similar name of God

EL GIBBOR –Mighty God (Champion/hero) – Isaiah 9: 6,7

Super heroes are very much the culture of today.   The film franchises of super heroes are popular for a reason.   Everyone wants a hero –  A champion to look up to.

God is the ultimate hero of His people.

8. “JEHOVAH SHALOM”the Lord is PEACE

Judges 6:24 So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD is Peace.

Shalom Peace means rest, harmony, wholeness, completeness, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquillity, and prosperity i.e. total wellbeing.

Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace.

Perfect Peace is found in God.

9.  “JEHOVAH TSIDKENU” – RIGHTEOUSNESS

Jeremiah 23:6 – the LORD our RIGHTEOUSNESS

“In his days Judah will be saved  and Israel will live in safety.

This is the name by which He will be called:

The LORD Our Righteousness.”

Jesus is righteous.   He was the only true righteous son because he is God.   God himself who is Righteous became our Righteousness through Jesus.

10. “JEHOVAH SHAMMAH” – the LORD is THERE/PRESENT

 Ezekiel 48:35 God reveals himself as wanting to be present with us – that is His plan.  He is in our past, present and future. He is omnipresent and eternal in nature.

God is the Alpha (beginning) and the Omega (end).  He is there when we get up and when we go to bed.  He is not surprised by anything!! Even when we are.

He makes the way ahead for us to walk in.

11. “JEHOVAH SABAOTH” – “The LORD of HOSTS”.

1 Samuel 17:45  “Then said David to the Philistine,  You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts”

God is the captain of all the hosts (angelic) of Heaven.

The angels are at God’s command.   We read in the bible how they are used as God’s messengers and to carry out God’s orders.   I often pray and ask God to send his angels to help me and to protect my family.

12.  “JEHOVAH – ROI (Ra-ah)”– SHEPHERD

 Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

God is the good shepherd who looks after us.  We are the sheep of His pasture.

A good shepherd tends & watches over the flock,  protects them, feeds them & leads them in and out to good pastures.   He binds up their wounds & heals them.

13.  ABBA  – God as FATHER

Matthew 6 9-13 – Jesus teaches us to pray to  “Our FATHER in heaven, Hallowed be Your NAME

Jesus reveals God as our Father for the first time in scripture. It reveals a new more intimate level of relationship.

The identity of God as a Father to us is so important and learning to relate to God as a Father can be difficult if we have not experienced what true fatherhood is.  I pray for a revelation of God as a father to those who have not experienced or understood this before.

14.  GOD IS LOVE

The Bible reveals that God is LOVE (AGAPE)– His Character is LOVE

 1 John 4:8 “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

AGAPE means “undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable good will that always seeks the highest good of the other person.

It describes the unconditional love which God has for the world.

Discovering God loves us and the extent of that love for us – that love that knows no bounds – it’s height, depth & breadth – what an incredible thing to be loved so much.

When we are loved like that and by such an awesome God then you realise how valuable you are to God.

We really are the apple of His eye.

PRAYER;

“ Lord, your word says that you are my shepherd. I choose to believe your word and declare in faith that you are my shepherd . Thank you God that you are Jehovah Roi – My Shepherd. I declare that I belong to you and you alone and you are Lord of my life. Thank you God that you are the one true shepherd who tends, cares and provides for me.   Thank you that you make me lie down in green pastures where I can rest and be refreshed in you.   Thank you Lord that you lead me every day. Help me to follow in your footsteps and to be obedient to your voice.

Thank you God that you are JEHOVAH JIREH – the God who provides for me and that I shall not want. Lord, your word declares that you will provide all my needs according to your riches in glory. Help me to see Lord that these are not my wants but my needs.

Thank you Lord that you are JEHOVAH TSIDKENU the God of righteousness who leads me in paths of righteousness.   Lord keep me from temptation and sin and keep my feet on the rights paths of your presence. Thank you God for Jesus who your word declares is the good shepherd who by his death on the cross has opened up the way for me to come before your throne. I thank you for the blood of Christ that cleanses me and the robes of righteousness which cover me.

God, help me to share the love of Christ with those who don’t know you so that they can see and know Christ as their Shepherd.   Lord give me compassion for those who don’t know you.

Thank you God for the pastors and elders who you have put in positions to be shepherds of this flock. God bless them and help them to be good shepherds filled with your wisdom as they love us, lead us and care for us.

Lord, help me to feed on good food – building up myself and strengthening myself in you and your Word. Lord, renew my appetite and thirst for you because I know that you are the only one who can satisfy.   You alone are the bread of life.

God finally, I acknowledge that your word says that “Know that the Lord, He is God. It is He who has made us and not we ourselves. We are His People and the Sheep of His pasture”. Lord, let me have a true revelation of who you are so that I will not boast in me but in you alone. That I will walk humbly before you.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Finally, these are some of the things which the Bible says about the Name of the Lord:

The Name of the Lord is a defence (Psalm 20:1)

A help in time of trouble (Psalm 9:10)

A comfort (Daniel 11:32)

A strong tower (Proverbs 18:10)

A weapon (1 Samuel 17:45; 2 Chronicles 14:11)

An ointment poured forth (Song of Solomon 1:3)

“In the name of our God We will set up our banners: The Lord fulfill all your petitions “ Psalm 20:5

Exodus 34 v5

“The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there AND PROCLAIMED THE NAME OF THE LORD; And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed. “The Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation