Once a month I write a letter to the wonderful Prayer for Prodigals community I am part of. Often those letters, though specific to those who love a prodigal, apply to any or all of us in the challenging circumstances of life.
We are now entering into spirit and heart preparation for the June 2 Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day. For the next eight weeks, we will be going to God’s Word with open spirits and hearts to hear from Him, to be ready to enter into the battle for the souls of the wanderers we love. Our theme this year is Promise.
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
Most of us have two, maybe three names, and perhaps a nickname. Each of us loves to hear our name—that means someone knows us, or cares about us or wants us (except of course when someone in authority calls it out with an ominous tone).
Sometimes we are named after a loved one, or our parents have chosen a name with symbolic meaning. Lately names are often made up or put together from other names. However they originate, they become us. We are known by our names.
Our God is also known by His name—His many names. Every one of His names identifies a truth about Him. His names reveal who He is, what He is like, how He will act. Each name is a promise. Not a promise to do as we wish, but a promise that He will always be true to His name.
In His name
When we need something from God, we can always come to Him “in His name.” Our King, the God of the universe, has extended an open invitation to us to call on Him: .
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. (Psalm 105:1)
Throughout Scripture God’s chosen leaders knew to call on His name in their time of need:
Abram: There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. (Gen 12:8)
Isaac: Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. (Gen 26:25)
Elijah: Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. (1 Kings 18:24)
Our Savior, the Lord Jesus, gives us the same invitation:
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (John 16:24)
When God calls Himself by a name, He is saying: This is true of me. When He calls Himself Jehovah Jireh, He is saying that we can depend on Him to provide for our needs. Jesus was called Immanuel, which assures us that He will always be with us.
Sometimes Scripture names a specific name for God: Shalom, that is, Peace. Other times He is described by a characteristic, such as God is Love.
The key is that we can trust God to be true to each name and each named character quality. As we move through our lives, and are confronted by many different needs, we can call on God, by name, for that need.
His name is a promise
The writer of Hebrews assures us:
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
And the Holy Spirit goes with us as we accept the invitation:
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. (Romans 8:26)
So what are we waiting for? An invitation? We already have it.
God is on His throne, waiting for us to accept His invitation, to come. His arms are open, ready to welcome us. His ear is attuned, eager to listen. His heart is open, desiring to respond. He will be true to every name He has called Himself in the Word.
Each week, until June 2, we will look at a different name of God—His promise to us. Let us come into His presence, bringing our worship, thanks and requests, with boldness and confidence, for He desires to be with us and to be all He is to us.
In His name,
What about you? What name of God do you need to call on now?
c2018 Judy Douglass
If you would be interested in requesting prayer for a prodigal loved one, or being a part of our wonderful praying community, respond in comments or write to me at PrayerforProdigals at gmaildotcom.
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