I have the name I was given at birth, but then I have had a plethora of nicknames. Many of these have come from family members or friends, some have come from taking on different roles and starting new relationships (Husband, Dad, etc.). The way people address me varies according to their relationship with me, and sometimes that even changes pending on what is going on in that relationship.
Yet many times when I pray, it just starts out Dear God....
Why is that? As we look at scriptures we see many of the different names of God. In the culture of the day, a name was synonymous with the character of the person. That is why many times when people interacted with God in scripture, their name changed to reflect a heart change.
One of the practices that has really challenged me to engage daily with God is looking at the names of God and seeing how I am relating to/interacting with God on that day.
Is He more like an Abba Father?
Do I need God the Healer?
My situations and circumstances change everyday, yet God’s grace, truth and faithfulness remain the same. Changing the way you address God doesn’t mean you are changing God, it has more to do with observing what all is going on in your life and engaging with the truths of God that relate to where you are.
God is above and beyond what we could ever ask or imagine, He reveals His character through Scripture so that we can know Him more.
You can use the list below to explore more of the nature and character of God. If you journal, consider writing a letter to God yet begin each letter with the name of God that correlates most to your walk with Him at that moment. There will be phases where I continually focus on a certain aspect of God, yet as He continues to work, I will continue to see more of Him and my view of Him will grow.
The Names of God:
Jehovah: The name of the independent, self-complete being—“I AM WHO I AM”—only belongs to Jehovah God. Our proper response to Him is to fall down in fear and awe of the One who possesses all authority.
Jehovah-M’Kaddesh: “the God who sanctifies.” A God separate from all that is evil requires that the people who follow Him be cleansed from all evil.
The Infinite God: God is beyond measurement—we cannot define Him by proportions or magnitude. He has no beginning, no end, and no limits.
The Omnipotent God: God is all-powerful. He spoke all things into being, and all things—every micro-organism, every breath we take—are sustained by Him. There is nothing too difficult for Him to do.
The God who is good: God is the embodiment of perfect goodness. He is kind, caring, and full of favor toward all of creation.
The God who is love: God’s love is so great that He gave His only Son to bring us into fellowship with Him. God’s love not only encompasses the world, but embraces each of us personally and intimately.
Jehovah-jireh: “the God who provides.” Just as He provided yesterday, He will also provide today and tomorrow. He grants deliverance from sin, the oil of joy for the ashes of sorrow, and eternal citizenship in His Kingdom for all those adopted into His household.
Jehovah-shalom: “the God of peace.” We are meant to know the fullness of God’s perfect peace, or His “shalom.” God’s peace surpasses understanding and sustains us even through difficult times. It is the product of fully being what we were created to be.
The Immutable God: All that God is, He has always been. All that He has been and is, He will ever be. He is ever perfect and unchanging.
God the transcendent: God is not merely eminent, the highest being. He is transcendent—existing beyond and above the created universe.
The God who is just: God is righteous and holy, fair and equitable in all things. We can trust Him to always do what is right.
The God who is holy: God’s holiness is not simply our best image of perfection. God is utterly and supremely untainted. His holiness stands apart—unique and incomprehensible.
Jehovah-rophe: “Jehovah heals.” God alone provides the remedy for mankind’s brokenness through His son, Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the physical, moral, and spiritual remedy for all people.
The God who is self-sufficient: All things are God’s to give, and all that is given is given by Him. Everything we give Him was initially given to us by Him.
The Omniscient God: God is all-knowing. God’s knowledge encompasses every possible piece of information regarding anything that currently exists, existed in the past, or will exist in the future.
The Omnipresent God: God is everywhere—in and around everything, close to everyone. “‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.”
The merciful God: God’s merciful compassion is never ending and does not run dry. Through His provision in Christ, He took the judgment that was rightfully ours and placed it on His own shoulders. He waits and works now for all people to turn to Him and to live under His justification.
The sovereign God: God presides over every event, great or small, and He is in control of our lives. He rules all creation with all knowledge and power.
Jehovah-nissi: “God our banner.” Under His banner we go from triumph to triumph and say, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
The only wise God: God knows and acts with perfect wisdom in all things. He always acts for our good, which is to conform us to Christ.
The God who is faithful: Out of His faithfulness God honors His covenants and fulfills His promises. Our hope for the future rests upon God’s faithfulness.
The God of wrath: Unlike human anger, God’s wrath is never capricious, self-indulgent, or irritable. It is the right and necessary reaction to objective moral evil.
The God who is full of grace: Grace is God’s good pleasure that moves Him to grant value where it is undeserved and to forgive debt that cannot be repaid.
God our Comforter: Jesus called the Holy Spirit the “Comforter,” and the apostle Paul writes that the Lord is “the God of all comfort.”
El-Shaddai: “God Almighty,” the God who is all-sufficient and all-bountiful, the source of all blessings.
God the Father: Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9), and the Spirit of God taught us to cry, “Abba, Father.,” an intimate Aramaic term similar to “Daddy.” The Creator of the universe cares for each one of us as if we were the only child He had.
God the head of the Church: God the Son, Jesus, is the head of the Church. As the head, the part of the body that sees, hears, thinks, and decides, He gives the orders that the rest of the body lives by.
God our intercessor: Knowing our temptations, God the Son intercedes for us. He opens the doors for us to boldly ask God the Father for mercy. Thus, God is both the initiation and conclusion of true prayer.
Adonai: “Master” or “Lord.” God, our Adonai, calls all God’s people to acknowledge themselves as His servants, claiming His right to reign as Lord of our lives.
Elohim: This name means “Strength” or “Power.” He is transcendent, mighty and strong. Elohim is the great name of God, displaying His supreme power, sovereignty, and faithfulness in His covenant relationship with us.