Thoughts on Prayer: What’s in a Name?
Have you had the opportunity to observe parents choose a name for their child? It can be a discussion that goes on for the entire nine months of the pregnancy with no consensus once the baby is born. Preferences for names can cause strong reactions to arise. Think of some well known names like Hitler, what comes to mind? Judas? Napoleon? Mother Teresa? Churchill? Neal Armstrong? John F. Kennedy? We recall their character, their personalities, their achievements, etc., don’t we? We know automatically whether or not we like them or would want to know them. Names were given in the Old Testament for the purpose of describing the character of the child and to give the child identity. The child’s name was intended to give a sense of who they are their purpose and uniqueness.
Names were a really big deal then as one could tell a lot about the person by their name. Their name spoke to their character, their identity, their purpose, or to an event. On occasion God would change some one’s name. He changed Abram (Exalted Father) to Abraham (Father of Nations), Sarai (Princess) to Sarah (Mother of Multitudes), Simon (God Has Heard) to Peter (Rock) and Jacob (Supplanter) to Israel (God Contended). God changed Jacob’s name after a wrestling match one night where he prevailed against God and man. (Genesis 32:24-28; 35:9-12 NIV). He walked with a limp from that time forward. Sometimes the change in character, identity or purpose was immediate. Other times, think Peter, not so quickly. He had a “rocky” start walking in his new name/identity, didn’t he? Nevertheless, a name change spoke of promise also. Eventually, Peter began to walk out the fulfillment of Jesus’ words to him found in John 1:42(NIV).He became a leader in the growing congregation of believers in Messiah in Acts 2:38(NIV).
Today you have the opportunity to change your identity, your name. You have the opportunity to walk out a new destiny, purpose and character. The event which makes this possible occurred about 2,000 years ago. Jesus’ finished work on the cross ensures you can. His finished work on the cross is the blood covenant made between him and his Father, the Possessor of heaven and earth and all they hold. Because of Jesus the Lord’s mercies are new every single morning. Great is his faithfulness. If you are awake today embrace the gift of a new day. It is priceless and won’t come again. If you have come to Father God through his son Jesus then you are a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come ( 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV). You have been equipped with a new nature and you have the Spirit of the One, True and Living God indwelling you. He gives you the power to walk out your new identity, purpose and destiny (Galatians 5:17-25 NIV). Take time to feed your new nature the Word of God. That’s how you grow. Water your new identity with prayer, prayer, and prayer. That’s one way you learn how your Father speaks to you. Fellowship to remain sharp in faith and love.
Does this happen over night? It didn’t with Peter. Sometimes Jesus referred to him by his former name, Simon. Wherever you are right now, whatever you are doing, thinking or feeling. If it is not where you want to be—you can have a name change. Heavy in Spirit can be changed to Garment of Praise (Isaiah 61:3 NIV). Mourning can be changed to Oil of Joy (Isaiah 61:3 NIV). In a Heap of Ashes can be changed to Beauty (Isaiah 61:3). Fear can be changed to Bold, Confident, and Perfectly Loved (For perfect love casts out all fear). Worry can be changed to Peace, Calm, and Rest. Tired and Weary can be changed to Renewed Strength (Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV). Rejection and Abandonment can be changed to I Am Not Alone (for he will never leave you nor forsake you).
Take it from here, name where you are. Search the Word of God for the opposite name. This week may you receive new life, new and/or renewed promises. The faith to break free of all hindrances that would tell you, “It’s not for me.” Your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Be blessed to know that you know that you know you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of the One True and Living God. Be blessed in the name of the Merciful and Faithful God whose mercies are new every single morning because of his great faithfulness. May your soul know that right well. Share your new name with a friend.