Prayer Part 2: "Hallowed Be Thy Name"

Posted on 09/30/2007 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (may not contain everything found in the audio above)

Good morning, and welcome! It's good to see all of you come to seek after a closer walk with God, and I believe that as you continue to seek, you will find.

Let's all stand to our feet and open today's service with prayer.


Lord, thank you for this day, and for the life and breath you have given us. Thank you that we all have the freedom to enter into your presence and both touch and be touched by you.

We pray for Tamara, that you would minister to her. You see the situation she's going through, and we ask that through this hard time, you would draw her closer to you. Wrap her in your arms, and let her know that you are with her and you will bring her through.

We pray for Mija and Mary. Give Mija strength and boldness to proclaim the truth with love, and draw Mary into a close relationship with you.

We pray for the strife and turmoil we've seen lately, and ask that you would break through all the confusion the enemy has planted, and cause us to listen to your voice instead. Chastise us for our strife, and bring us to that place of humility and brokenness in which we come with empty hands to worship and serve you.

And now Lord, draw us into your presence as we actively seek after you. Accept our praises, and may they flow from hearts that hunger and thirst after more of you.

And it's in Jesus' name we pray.

Amen.


Click the pulpit for a notecard, and follow along with the overhead as we worship God with song.


LORD YOU'VE BEEN SO GOOD

VERSE ONE
Lord, you've been so good to me
 you gave me sight when I was blind
You showed me light I could not see
 you brought me truth I could not find

Lord, you've been so good to me
 you paid a debt I could not pay
You turned my darkest night to day
 Lord you've been so good to me!

CHORUS
And so I praise you in the morning
 and I praise you in the night
For you are my Salvation
 you are my guiding light
So I give you my everything
 I just can't give you less
When you sent your Son to love me
 you gave me your best!

VERSE TWO
Lord, you've been so good to me
 you set my feet on solid ground
You rescued my life from the grave
 when no other help could be found

Lord, you've been so good to me
 and I could never repay
All the love you gave so freely
 Lord, you've been so good to me!

(CHORUS)

BRIDGE
Lord you've been so good to me
Lord you've been so good to me (better than I deserve)
Lord you've been so good to me
 you paid a debt I could not pay
You turned my darkest night to day
 Lord you've been so good to me

Lord you've been so good to me
Lord you've been so good to me (you're good all the time)
Lord you've been so good to me
 and I could never repay
All the love you gave so freely
 Lord you've been so good to me

(CHORUS)

You gave me your best!
You gave me your best!

Lord, you've been so good to me.

THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU

There is none like You
No one else can touch my heart like You do
I could search for all eternity long
And find there is none like You

Your mercy flows like a river wide
And healing comes from Your hands
Suffering children are safe in Your arms
There is none like You

JESUS NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES

Jesus, name above all names
Beautiful Savior, glorious Lord.
Emmanuel, God is with us.
Blessed Redeemer,  Living word.


Thank you Lord for your love, your mercy, your goodness, and your presence. Help us keep our eyes upon you, and speak to us now through your Word, as we explore what you taught us about living a life of prayer.

Thank you Lord. Amen.


You may be seated.


For the last three weeks, we've been talking about prayer, and last week we started a series on what's commonly called "The Lord's Prayer," or more accurately, "The Believer's Prayer Outline."

Last week we talked about God as our heavenly father, "Our Father which art in heaven..." and today let's continue with this first sentence, "Hallowed by thy name."

So our time of getting alone with God in prayer has begun. We have addressed God as our father, realizing that, like a good loving father, he is not bothered by our coming to him but is delighted to spend time with us. We realize that as our father, he wants to hear what's on our heart and he wants to meet our needs, but he also wants us to come to him just to spend time with him.

We realize that as our father, he wants the best for us in all things, and this includes the area of our lifestyle, our morality, and our choices, and he will faithfully discipline us when we wander from the path.

So we've prepared our hearts, and have just spoken with God as our father, as we would start a conversation with an earthly father who we love and who loves us completely, yet as a heavenly father who is the ruler of the universe.

And in the flow of this spirit of love, reverence, complete trust and dependency and holy fear, we reflect upon and praise God for the holiness of his name.

In Jewish culture, names held the utmost importance. They were both prophetic and reflective. They held the power of identity and the mystery of the bearer's entire life.

Jacob, for example, means "supplanter," or, "one who takes the place of another through force, scheming, or strategy." And this is exactly what Jacob did.

Abram, for another example, means "exalted father." When Abram was old and had not yet had any children, God not only brought his name to pass by giving him a child, but God also changed his name to Abraham, which means "father of many," giving him the promise that his descendents would be as numerous as the stars in the heaven.

Peter was named Simon, which means "one who hears." Indeed he heard the call of Jesus on his life, and heard the Spirit of the Lord reveal to him the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus changed his name to Peter, which means "a rock," and although Peter later shed doubt upon his new name by denying Jesus, his name was indeed a name of true prophecy, and he became a solid rock and a great leader of the Faith.

And this is one place in which our names vary from God's names. The names given to man may or may not be lived up to by the bearer of that name. We fail many times, and over and over again. But the names God has attributed to himself, he lives up to those names completely and without fail or compromise, and there is no hint or shadow of changing in him.

We read in Proverbs 18:10, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." You see, God's name is more than what we call him; rather, God's name is who he is, his character, his nature, his definition. It is a solid and unchanging tower of safety. We can rely on it, trust in it, build our faith in it, and call upon it with the full confidence that he will hear and answer us when we call upon his name. As we read in Joel 2:32, "And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."


So what is the name of God? What does it mean? And how can we praise and honor his holy name every day as the foundation for our time of prayer with him?


Throughout Scripture, there are many names used for God. Most of them begin with the name "Jehovah," which means "He is" or "I Am." The Hebrews would not even speak this name, it was considered the holy name of God. This is why the Jews became angry enough to murder Jesus when he said, "Before Abraham was, I Am." How dare he not only associate himself with God in this manner, but dare to do so with the meaning of the name of God which they dared not even speak aloud!

And so they tried to kill him. But they could not. You see, they did not realize who he was. They did not realize that he could not only speak the name of God, but claim it as his own, for he was the very Word of God made flesh, their creator and judge.

He who was standing in their midst that day saying "Before Abraham was, I Am," was none other than the great I Am. And when the crowds placed palm branches in his path and cried out, "Hosannah! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord," they were indeed singing the praises of the one who not only came in but bore that name. Holy is the name of the Lord!


Today I'd like for us to take a quick look at some of the names of God throughout Scripture. And as we go through the names of God, you will probably notice that many of them start with the name "Jehovah," or "the existing one," or "I Am."

With all the completeness of God's character and nature, how could he be called by just one name?

This question has been asked by those who believe the names of the gods of all religions can be used for the one true God.

Let's take, for example, the name of Allah. Is Allah just another name for God? Actually, if you trace the name Allah back to its origin, Allah was the moon god. He was greater than, but co-existent with, all the other many gods. And if his character in the Quoran were to be compared with the character of God in the Holy Bible, two very different pictures would emerge. Besides, Allah was the moon god, and God created the moon. So I can't see how we can possibly call Jehovah God by the name of Allah.

How about Isis, an Egyptian goddess? Let's see... the history of this one includes finding her murdered god husband, becoming pregnant by the body, and giving birth to Horus, whom she raised in secret to protect him from his enemy. I'm afraid we can't exactly call Jehovah God by the name of Isis.

How about Krishna, a Hindu and Indian god? Legend has it he was the reincarnation of the god Vishnu. It appears as though he lived a happy life playing pranks and secuding the girls with his flute playing. Legend suggests he had about 16,000 wives. His favorite female was Radha, the daughter of his foster father, who was his childhood lover. They never married. Okay, so maybe we can't call Jehovah God by the name of Krishna either.

How about Zeus? He was the top olympian god in the Greek pantheon. He took credit for rescuing his brothers and sisters and became the king of heaven. He was the husband of Hera, but he had many affairs with other goddesses, mortal women, and female animals. Ummm... Okay, so I guess we can't call Jehovah God by the name of Zeus.


Psalm 148:13 says, "Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above heaven and earth."

Calling Jehovah God by the names of other gods is not praising the name of the Lord. Let's push far away from our consideration the thought of ever calling God by the name of a counterfeit, or by the name of an angel or prophet, or by the name of a demon or a fable or myth.

The name of the Lord is great and greatly to be praised. The name of the Lord is holy, righteous, and altogether lovely.

So let's take a look at the names of God in the Holy Scriptures. Blessed be the name of the Lord!


El Shaddai - All-Sufficient One. Lord God Almighty.

This name of God was first used in Genesis chapter seventeen and verse one, and is translated as "Almighty God." This was the place God make his covenant with Abram, and is the place God changed his name to Abraham.

Let's read this in Genesis 17:1-8:

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am (El Shaddai) Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.
2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”
3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:
4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.
5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.
8 Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”


So here was Abram, "father," an old man, ninety-nine years old, and without a child and with an unfulfilled name. And suddenly God appeared to him. And God's first words were, "I am El Shaddai -- I am the almighty, all-sufficient God."

Why do you suppose God used the name El Shaddai, the almighty and all-sufficient one, at that time and during that visitation?

It's helpful to realize that what God said next was impossible. First, he is making a covenant with this old man. Why would God make a covenant with an old man with no children? Certainly God would indeed do such a thing, creating a covenant between himself and one he loves. But this covenant was not between only God and this one old man.

Instead, God says that Abram will be a father of many nations, and proceeds to give him the name Abraham, father of many. In fact, God not only says he WILL be the father of many, but he says, "I HAVE made you a father of many nations." God had already made him a father of many nations before Abraham had even a single child. Only the almighty, all-sufficient God could do this.

Next God says that he will make Abraham very fruitful, and that many kings will come from him. He says that he will establish his covenant with Abraham and with his descendents as an everlasting covenant. That's a pretty bold statement. Could any less than someone almighty and all-sufficient truthfully boast such a claim?

God goes on to say that he will give Abraham and his decendents the land in which they are a stranger as an everlasting posession. And all this to an old man who has no children.

Only El Shaddai, the all-sufficient, almighty God, could make such a perposterous claim come true. And every single impossible word El Shaddai spoke that day came to pass, for he is, indeed, El Shaddai, God almighty, our all-sufficient, almighty God.


El Elyon - The Most High God

This name of God first appears in Genesis chapter fourteen, verses 14 through 20 which say:

14 Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.
15 He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus.
16 So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people.
17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.
Abram and Melchizedek
 
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of (El Elyon) God Most High.
19 And he blessed him and said: "Blessed be Abram of (El Elyon) God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be (El Elyon) God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”


So we see here that El Elyon, the Most High God, delivered Abram's enemies into his hand.

We see this name used in the same way in Psalm 57:1-3:

1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You, and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.
2 I will cry out to (El Elyon) God Most High, to God who performs all things for me.
3 He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.


Do you ever find yourself in times of calamity? Do you ever feel surrounded by your enemies, your circumstances, those things that would destroy you? El Elyon, God Most High, is Most High God over all your circumstances, all your situations, all your enemies, and all the things that would destroy you, and the Most High God is on your side and will conquor your enemies, if you will only put your trust in him.

In Psalm chapter 78, we read about the many times the children of Israel doubted and grumbled against God as he led them through the wilderness. Even though he gave them water from a rock, bread from heaven, fought against their enemies, led them across the red sea on dry land, and continually took care of them and delivered them, they still doubted and sinned against him.

And so we read this in Psalm 78, verses 32 through 35:

32 In spite of this they still sinned, and did not believe in His wondrous works.
33 Therefore their days He consumed in futility, and their years in fear.
34 When He slew them, then they sought Him, and they returned and sought earnestly for God.
35 Then they remembered that God was their rock, and (El Elyon) the Most High God their Redeemer.


Do you feel as though your days are consumed in futility, one wasted, empty day after another? And do you live in fear of the next terrorist attack, or of losing someone you love, or of some other thing? Have you allowed a distance to grow between you and God, not believing that God will fight on your behalf, and will deliver you from the things that have you hopelessly bound?

El Elyon, the Most High God, is your Redeemer. And it is his very nature -- God will deliver you!


Adonai - Lord, Master

The name "Adonai" was first mentioned in Genesis chapter fifteen and verse two. Abram had just won victory over his enemies, and yet he was questioning God's will for his life. Let's read this in Genesis 15:1-6:

1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
2 But Abram said, “(Adonai) Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”
3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”
4 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.”
5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.


Have you ever questioned God's will and direction? Abram had no children to carry on his name, and by law, another born in his house would be his heir. Have you ever wondered, "God, what will you give me, seeing I seem to have no future and no hope, and everything seems to be against me?"

And yet God gave Abram just a glimpse into his grand design for his life and his future. God said, "Look now toward the heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them. So shall your descendants be."

Even if things in your life don't seem to add up, and even if you don't understand why God is leading you down certain paths, it will be counted as righteousness for you if you simply believe the Lord, and if you submit to the ageless wisdom and divine will of Adonai, Lord and Master God.


Yahweh or Jehovah -- The promised name of God - "I Am"

This is the name of God that was considered too holy to speak. While the pronunciation is unlear, we pronounce it as either Yahweh or Jehovah.

This is the name that begins most of the names we have yet to cover, and means "The God who is," or "The I Am."


Jehovah Nissi - The Lord My Banner

This name is mentioned only once in all of Scripture, in Exodus 17:8-15:

8 Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
9 And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.”
10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 And Moses built an altar and called its name, (Jehovah Nissi) The LORD Is My Banner.


This takes on special significance when we learn that the word "Nes" is sometimes translated as a pole with an insignia attached. Warring armies would fly their flags on a pole on the front line. This gave the soldiers a feeling of hope, and a point of focus.

So it was with Moses and the children of Israel that day. As Moses held up the staff which was a symbol of the power of God, their armies prevailed. When the staff began to be lowered, their enemies would prevail. When Jehovah Nissi, the Lord our Banner, was held high, the people of God were victorious.

How many times does it seem as though the enemy is prevailing against us? How many times do our arms grow tired, and we simply cannot hold them up any longer?

Cry out to God for help, and he will send what you need to have the strength to continue to lift him up as your banner, and Jehovah Nissi will win the victory for you!


Jehovah Raah - The Lord My Shepherd

This name of God begins the 23rd chapter of Psalms:

1 (Jehovah Raah) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your  staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.


How many times do we need to remember that the Lord is our Shepherd, and when we follow him, we will not lack any good thing. He will lead us in good paths, and will restore our souls. He will lead us only in the paths of righteousness. And even when we walk through the darkest valleys in life, we can fear no evil, for our Shepherd is with us. His discipline in our lives is a great comfort, for it means he loves is and is watching over us. He gives us a feast of peace and joy even in the face of our enemies, anointing us with the oil of gladness and of his Holy Spirit, and causing his joy to bubble forth from our innermost beings.

With God as our shepherd, we can rest assured that goodness and mercy will follow us on this earth, and then we will dwell in the house of our Great Shepherd, Jehovah Raah, forever.


Jehovah Rapha - The Lord Who Heals

This name of God appears in Exodus 15:25. Let's read this beginning with verse 22.

22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.
23 Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.
24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”
25 So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.
There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them,
26 and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am (Jehovah Rapha) the LORD who heals you.”


Do you have some bitter waters in your life? You may be a Christian, but even on the other side of the Red Sea with Egypt behind you, you may go through a desert. And when, thirsty and tired, you finally find something to drink, it is much too bitter to swallow.

And in that place God told them that if they heed his voice, hear and obey his commandments, and do what is right in his sight, then he will put none of the diseases of Egypt upon them.

How often do we compromise with the world, and end up suffering the emptiness of separation from God, and various other consequenses in our lives?

Lack of peace and true joy, doubt, fear, confusion, and dismay. My, what a price we pay for a little bit of temporary and counterfeit pleasure.

And yet, we can come back to the Lord with hearts of repentence. And he can sweeten our bitter waters once again, for he is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our healer.

This is the same God who sent his Word to heal us. Jesus bore the same number of stripes on his back as there are major diseases in the world. And by his stripes we are healed!

Whether our sickness is one of the body or of the soul, call upon the Lord, for he is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord your healer!


Jehovah Shammah - The Lord is There

This name is used only once, in Ezekiel chapter 48. The children of Israel are building Jerusalem. And the last city mentioned was called, Jehovah Shammah - the Lord is There.

In the very next chapter, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Bablylon, came to Jerusalem to besiege it. And yet, even through the stormy and often bleak and seemingly hopeless pages of history through which Jerusalem passed, Jehovah Shammah -- the Lord was There.

Do you ever feel as though God is absent? As though he has forgotten about you? As though you are alone and abandoned? As though all true hope is gone?

The Lord is there with you. He has promised to never leave or forsake you. He has promised that he will be with you to the very end. You can rest assured that no matter where you are in life, the highest mountain or the depths of the sea, Jehovah Shammah, God is right there with you.


I would like to close by reading Psalm 139:1-18, 23-24.

1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
         You understand my thought afar off.
 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
         And are acquainted with all my ways.
 4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
         But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
 5 You have hedged me behind and before,
         And laid Your hand upon me.
 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
         It is high, I cannot attain it.
        
 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
         Or where can I flee from Your presence?
 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
         If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
 9 If I take the wings of the morning,
         And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
         And Your right hand shall hold me.
 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
         Even the night shall be light about me;
 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
         But the night shines as the day;
         The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
        
 13 For You formed my inward parts;
         You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
         Marvelous are Your works,
         And that my soul knows very well.
 15 My frame was not hidden from You,
         When I was made in secret,
         And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
         And in Your book they all were written,
         The days fashioned for me,
         When as yet there were none of them.
        
 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
         How great is the sum of them!
 18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
         When I awake, I am still with You.
        
 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
         Try me, and know my anxieties;
 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
         And lead me in the way everlasting.


Amen.


The altar workers can come to the front now.

Lord God, thank you for your Word. Thank you for your name. Thank you that your name is holy, and that we can run to your name and be safe.

I pray that the seeds of your Word would find their way into fertile soil, so they can grow into strong, unshakable character and faith.


Perhaps some of you here today or listening or reading later do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. And hearing about the nature of God brings you to a place inside of longing, yearning, being drawn to the foot of the cross.

That is the Holy Spirit of God calling you, drawing you, urging you to come inside before the gates are closed.

And if that's you, then pray this prayer with me now. Say, "Jesus, forgive me for my sins. Come into my heart, and make me a brand new creation. Wipe the old things in my life away, and make all things brand new. Make me a part of the family of God, and teach me how to have a personal relationship with you. Thank you Jesus. Amen.


This altar is open. Come to the front and pray, worship, and just spend time with God. If you just gave your heart to Jesus or if you need prayer or ministry, please instant message someone on the ministry team.

In a few minutes we'll meet next door in the room on your left for a time of fellowship, so head over there when you feel a release to go.

Next week we'll continue talking about the names of God, so be sure to come back and bring a friend.

Come, and let's pray.