His Name is Wonderful | Part 1 - Call Upon His Name
When the Earth came forth from the hand of the loving Creator, it was perfect. Every blade of grass, every petal, every creature, from the greatest to the smallest, showed forth the glory of its Maker. The crowning part of the entire Creation was Man.
“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle . . . So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26, 27, NKJV)
Made in the very image of the Creator! Nothing else on earth had been given this honor, only mankind. The perfect beings made in the image of the Almighty were created for the companionship of the angels and the Creator Himself. The holy pair were not only children under Fatherly care, they were students receiving instruction. They were visited often by angels and had the privilege of talking face-to-face with their Maker.
The laws and function of nature were open to their astonished minds. Every living creature from the largest to the smallest was to be observed and understood. From the meadow flower to the tallest tree, from the earth and sky and sea, His children were to recognize their Father’s name written in love.
In the cool of the evening the Creator came to visit with the holy pair to talk over the events of the day and share the joy of being together. As long as Adam and Eve remained loyal to the divine law of love, they constantly would be gaining new insights, new knowledge and discovering fresh sources of happiness as they obtained ever clearer understanding of the immeasurable, unfailing love of their Creator. As each happy day passed, the Creator came to the garden and called for His children to come to Him.
Then a great tragedy happened: sin entered. When Satan came to tempt Eve, she was not hungry. The temptation was not food. She was tempted to doubt the love of her Creator. Satan tempted her to doubt the truthfulness of her Maker. He tempted her to desire a station that had not been given her. She wanted to be like a "god" - the very temptation into which Satan himself had fallen. (See Isaiah 14:12-14) She aspired to a position for which she was not created: that of "knowing" (or experiencing) both good and evil. It was never the Father's plan for His children to ever experience evil.
Following that terrible day when Adam and Eve chose to sin, they found themselves devoid of the garment of light that had covered them, and they felt guilt. Having no way to cover their nakedness, or to excuse their disobedience, they ran in terror and hid when they heard the voice of the Creator calling them:
"Where are you?" So he [Adam] said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, that you should not eat?" (Genesis 3:9-11, NKJV)
Thus begins the long sad history of mankind's sin. Love of the Creator, joy in His presence, trust and confidence in His care was replaced with fear of all that had attracted them to Him before. As a result, they no longer enjoyed His company.
The heavenly Father did not desert Adam and Eve, but explained to them that a life of pain and sorrow, of toil and sadness, would be their future experience. He explained the cost of sin: that in the fullness of time, the divine Son must die to atone for their disobedience. They were told they must leave their beautiful garden home. Adam and Eve pleaded to remain in the Garden of Eden, the home of their joy. They promised that in the future they would strictly obey, but they were told that their very nature had become spoiled by sin. By their own choice they had lessened their strength to resist Satan. They could not maintain their integrity because of their state of conscious guilt.
In sadness, they went out to dwell on the earth where the curse of sin now rested. All heaven was touched with feelings of sympathy for Adam and Eve, but the Creator had a plan whereby they could be restored to their state of innocence. That divine plan provided for constant communication between the Creator and His children. They were to have immediate access to divine help if they asked for it.
The descendents of Adam and Eve did not long retain loyalty to the heavenly Father. As sin became more and more prevalent, people did not hear the divine voice calling them. People did not want to retain in their minds the law of love provided by their Creator. As more people were born and grew up, people continued to forget that a Voice was calling to them. Seth, born to Adam and Eve after Cain killed Able, had a son whom he named Enos. Genesis 4:26 states: “And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD." (KJV)
How sad that it took so long for men and women to begin to call upon the name of their loving heavenly Father! To limit the power of Satan and to keep things equal in the great controversy between good and evil, the Creator imposed rules. Any human could contact whichever side he wished: Heaven or Satan. But neither Satan nor Heaven could directly contact the human unless first invited to do so. The Father did this in order to protect His children from constant harassment by demons. It is still the "rules of engagement."
Throughout scripture, all are repeatedly urged to "call upon the name" of the Father.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name; . . .
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name; . . .
Give to the LORD the glory due His name . . . .
I Chronicles 16:8-10, 29, NKJV
I found trouble and sorrow.
Then called I upon the name of the LORD . . .
I will take the cup of salvation
And call upon the name of the LORD.
Psalm 116:3, 4, 13, KJV
Praise the LORD, call upon His name,
declare His doings among the people,
make mention that His name is exalted.
I love the LORD because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. . . . I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD. . . . Gracious is the LORD, and righteous. . . . O LORD, truly I am thy servant . . . I will . . . will call upon the name of the LORD.
Psalm 116:1, 3-5, 16-17
Many other verses instruct all to praise the holy Name.
Praise ye the LORD.
Praise ye the name of the LORD;
praise him, O ye servants of the LORD . . .
Praise the LORD;
For the LORD is good:
Sing praises unto His name;
For it is pleasant.
Psalm 135:1, 3
Every day will I bless Thee;
And I will praise Thy name forever and ever.
Other texts urge those who believe in their Maker "To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem." (Psalm 102:21) The inspired Word reveals that all may safely trust in the holy Name: "We will rejoice in Thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners." (Psalm 20:5)
Everything has a name. Communication is not possible without a name to apply to everything, be it a person, a thing, a place or even an idea or emotion. The Creator Himself has a personal name. And it is upon that Name that all are to call. By His Spirit, the divine Father is always close, always available and He just waits; He waits for you to call upon His name. He longs to answer!
"Lord," however, is not the Father's name and it should not have been substituted for the divine name. The English words "Lord" and "God" are mere titles and can be applied to demonic gods, too! The word "Lord" simply means master. The word translated "God" comes from the Hebrew word "Elohim." The given translation is:
gods in the ordinary sense; but sepc[ifically] used . . . of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: - God, god, judge, GOD, goddess, great, mighty . . . rulers, judges, . . . . (#430, The New Strong's Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words, emphasis original.)
"Elohim" is the word used in the first commandment and it is applied to both the Creator and to false gods. The King James Version translates it:
I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, . . . Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:2, 3)
In other words, "I am the Elohim that brought you out of Egypt. Don't have any other elohim before Me." Elohim is a plural word translated "gods"; the singular, el, means "mighty." (See Strong's #410.)
The problem with using a word or a title that can be just as readily applied to a pagan deity, is that there is no power in titles! Titles do not inspire faith in the power and love behind the divine Name when the same word can be applied to many different people (magistrates, kings, prophets, husbands, gods). In order to call upon the name of the Heavenly Father in full faith, one must know His name!
It has pleased Satan well that the divine Name has been hidden behind the title "Lord." When the Name is hidden behind titles, there is no knowledge of what the Name means and thus there is no corresponding faith in the power of the Loving One who bears that Name. The stories of the Bible reveal that all who call upon the Name receive an answer.
From the belly of a whale, Jonah cried out in prayer. From the den of lions, Daniel sent his prayers heavenward and he was protected. From the burning fiery furnace, from the pit and slavery and persecution, from the heart and mind of the Creator's children, people throughout time were saved from all their troubles when they called in faith upon the divine Name. Over and over in the history of the nation of Israel, the people sinned and were taken into captivity, or otherwise punished. However, when they repented and called upon the divine Name, they were delivered and saved.
In this final generation, during this last remnant of time when the great tribulation of the wrath of the Almighty will come upon the world, His people need to know the divine Name. His name is wonderful, powerful and must not be taken in vain, or foolishly. All are still invited to call upon His name in faith, and all that do will receive an answer.
It must ever be remembered that Satan, the Father of Lies, is also the Father of Stolen Identities. He does not have creative power himself, so he twists; he manipulates, he lies. He takes attributes belonging to the Creator and claims them for himself, while trying to paint the Father with his own evil characteristics. Thus, people are led to fear the very One to Whom they should flee and call upon for help in the fight against Satan.
Satan's method of warfare, his stealing and usurping that which belongs to the Almighty alone, can be seen in his boast, made when he was cast out of heaven. This boast has been preserved in Isaiah:
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! . . . For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of . . . [Elohim]; . . . I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' (Isaiah 14:12-14, NKJV)
After the flood cleansed the earth, Satan quickly reestablished idolatry, seeking to turn all to worship himself. Even while Noah and Shem yet lived, men were worshiping demons. By the time of Abraham, idol worship was fully ingrained in the minds of the majority of the people. Elohim called Abraham to come out and be separate; to serve no other gods.
During this time Satan sought to bind people in service to himself by having his demons present in their temples. A rich man or a king could build a temple, appoint priests and ceremoniously invite a specific demon, by a specific name, to live in the inner sanctum, the "most holy place" of that temple. The priest appointed to serve that particular demon-god could then come in, offer sacrifices and offerings, and call upon the name of that god to petition for a favor. People would pay the priest to ask the demon questions, work magical acts or in some way bless them or curse others.
way bless them or curse others. This was no mere charade. The reason people were willing to pay the priest and give offerings to the “god” was because it worked! Satan had many ways to deceive and keep the people entranced with his deceptions. Their occult worship had many mysteries and fascinating ceremonies to allure the mind and keep the people coming back for more. The specific name of an individual demon-god was held to be very important. Without knowing their name, it was believed that a person could not get in touch with the demon. If an enemy learned the name of your god, he could offer a bigger offering and get your god to come over to his side and destroy you. This meant that people desperately kept secret the name of their god. Over time, there were thousands of gods inhabiting thousands of temples and answering to thousands of names.
It was assumed that the more hidden the name, the more power it contained. If a god was "unknown," no one assumed he lacked a name. Instead, it was believed that the name was simply very deeply hidden. In his address to the men of Athens on the Areopagus, Paul used this belief in his favor to preach about the Creator:
Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:
TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: . . . [Elohim] who made the world and everything in it." (Acts 17:22, 23, NKJV)
The necessity of praying to a specific god by his personal name was a concept that was well-understood throughout the ancient world.
In the ancient world, knowledge of a person's name was believed to give one power over that person. A knowledge of the character and attributes of pagan "gods" was thought to enable the worshipers to manipulate or influence the deities in a more effective way than they could have if the deity's name remained unknown. To that extent, the vagueness of the term el frustrated persons who hoped to obtain some sort of power over the deity, since the name gave little or no indication of the god's character. This was particularly true for el, the chief Canaanite god. The ancient Semites stood in mortal dread of the superior powers exercised by the gods and attempted to propitiate them accordingly. They commonly associated deity with the manifestation and use of enormous power.
In order to access the god, a generic title could not be used as that was ineffectual. Thus, it was a continual battle to keep hidden the name of one's own god, while learning as many hidden names of other gods as possible. By the time of the enslavement of the Israelite nation, Egypt had over 2000 named gods and some of those gods had hundreds of names. The priests jealously guarded the knowledge of the gods secret names, because this knowledge was what gave them power over the gods since it was believed that when a god was called upon by his personal name, he must answer.
No Egyptian being, natural or supernatural, can avoid the calling of his name. . . . In Egypt magic . . . is based almost entirely on the use of this possibility . . . The priest-magician devotes all his learning and power to 'knowing' (rokhu) the exact texture of the name . . . [as] the magical chant (khrou) which exactly reproduces all those elements [of the spoken name] give to him who possess it the complete ownership of the name-souls thus evoked. To the irresistible call which attracts their vital substance all beings, visible and invisible, must answer. . . . The person who is adjured or evoked, not being able to avoid the declaration of his name, . . . keeps his name secret. From the most humble spirit to the most powerful of the gods, each has a 'secret name,' which no one is supposed to know. He defends it jealously as his very life. For, as the texts say, 'this is his name by which he breathes.' 2
Some Egyptian gods had multiple names. From the top 358 most well-known Egyptian gods' names, the following are just those gods whose names began with "A":
Aa, Aah, Aapep, Abtu, Ah, Ahemait, Ahti(2), Ailuros, Aken, Aker, Amathaunta, Amaunet, Amemait, Amen, Amen Ra, Amen Re, Amenhotep, Ament, Amentet, Amentit, Ammam, Ammit, Ammon, Ammon Ra, Ammon Re, Ammut, Amn, Amon, Amon Ra, Amon Re, Amsit, Amun, Amun Ra, Amun Re, Anat, Andjety, Anedjti, Anet, Anezti, Anhur, Anit, Ankh, Ankhet, Ankt, Anouke, Anpu, Anti, Anubis, Anuket, Apademak, Apedemak, Apep, Apepi, Apet, Apis, Apophis, Aptet, Arensnuphis, Ari Hes Nefer, Arsnuphis, Aset, Aten, Aten Ra, Aten Re, Aton, Aton Ra, Aton Re, Atum, Atum Ra, Atum Re,
What Satan cannot destroy outright by lies, he twists and corrupts by misunderstanding or placing a wrong emphasis. While it is true that all should call upon the Father, directing their prayers specifically to Him by calling upon His personal name, it is not true that names are magical. Correspondingly, a title is not non-magical. This is the trap into which the pagans fell: belief that names contained inherent magical power.
The all-important reason that one should know the Father's and the Son's personal names is because an understanding of the meaning of Their names inspires faith in the heart of the petitioner. Faith in the Father's love, faith in His willingness to hear and answer prayer, confidence in His promises is what is necessary to release the divine power. As one well-known writer put it, "prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven's store house, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence." 3 There are definitely conditions that must be met before prayer is answered: repentance, obedience, the realization that one needs divine help. "Our great need is itself an argument and pleads most eloquently in our behalf. But . . . [the Father] is to be sought unto to do these things for us. He says, 'Ask, and it shall be given you.'"4
Faithis the primary prerequisite for answered prayer. The Saviour repeatedly linked His ability to answer petitions made Him to the level of faith in the heart of the petitioner. After exclaiming in surprise over the level of faith the Roman centurion had, ("Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." Matthew 8:10) the Saviour turned to the centurion and said, "Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee." (Matthew 8:13, KJV)
This principle was reinforced again later when the Syro-Phoenician woman asked for her daughter to be healed. When told, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs," her faith grew stronger. "True," she said, "yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." (See Matthew 15:21-28.) To this answer of faith, the Saviour rejoiced: "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." (Verse 28, NKJV.)
Here is where the importance of knowing the Creator's personal name is seen. His name is a revelation of His power, His function and His character. When one knows this, all other gods fade into oblivion. All that remains is the one true Elohim, the Creator of heaven and earth Who loves each one of His children as though there were not another individual on the face of the planet.
If anyone loves . . . [Elohim], this one is known by Him. Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other . . . [Elohim] but one. For even if there are so-called gods [elohim], whether in heaven or on earth as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is only one Elohim, the Father of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one . . . [Saviour], through whom are all things and through whom we live. (I Corinthians 8:3-6)
This is the knowledge that is crucial for all living in the closing days of this earth's history. To many people, the days ahead appear dark and fearful. Revelation lists the seven last plagues, the wrath of Elohim, to be poured out unmixed with mercy upon this sinful earth. At this time, it is absolutely essential for Elohim’s people to have faith in His power to deliver, both from enemies without and sin within.
Call upon the name of the Father. Lay aside titles and words Satan has appropriated for demons. Call upon Him specifically and in faith. Let your faith grasp the promises given in Love. The message of Elijah and Moses resounds through the years to this day: Who is on Elohim's side? If Baal is your god, serve him; but if Elohim is the Creator, then with repentance and humility, obedience and faith, serve Him.
According to your faith be it unto you.
I still remember the day my son called me "Mama." My first child, each new experience with him was precious. Actually, he did not call me "Mama." It was more like mamamama! I did not care! His little face had lit up with happiness when I walked in to get him after his nap, his little arms waved, and then the sweetest sound I had ever heard: "Mamamama!"
While it was not said perfectly, it was music to my ears. It showed that his little heart recognized me, his mother. This is what is experienced in a true prayer relationship with the Creator. There is great value in knowing the true, personal name of the Creator . . . but it is not for His benefit. It is for ours. He is our Father. No loving parent rejects the request of his child because a young child can only say "dada" rather than "Daddy." No loving parent refuses to listen or help unless the child stands a certain way or holds her hands "just so" when making the request.
The same is true of the Heavenly Father. He has a name, a personal name and He invites all to call upon it. However, He understands that we are but dust. Some languages contain sounds that other languages simply do not contain and unless a person is raised from babyhood forming those sounds, it is not always possible to make the tongue produce unfamiliar sounds. My mother was raised in an English speaking home, but as a very young child learned French from her playmates. She could make her tongue form certain sounds that, no matter how I try, I have never been able to duplicate.
No one, parent or otherwise, refuses to respond to someone calling his or her name if the person calling cannot pronounce the name perfectly or speaks with a lisp. A friend of mine is French Canadian. We have an old mutual friend named Thackery. My French Canadian friend has never once been able to pronounce his name because French does not have the soft "th" sound. The closest she gets is Zachary. However, he does not ignore her because she cannot pronounce his name correctly. Likewise, a woman named Rachelle would not ignore someone from China pronouncing her name "Lachelle." She would be understanding because Chinese does not contain the "r" sound.
So too, ". . . [Elohim] does not stand afar off as I struggle to speak. He cares enough to listen with more than casual attention. He translates my scrubby words and hears what is truly inside. He hears my sighs and uncertain gropings as fine prose."5
Far more important than pronouncing the divine name The Precise Way the angels say it, is to know the meaning of the name. It is only when the meaning of the name is understood, that one can fully exercise faith in the power of the One Who bears that name. It is here that the importance of knowing the Father's personal name is seen in its importance.
When the divine name is understood in its fullness, it is seen to be a promise. This promise itself inspires all to call upon the Creator for every need. Certain titles are acceptable to use when calling upon the Almighty. The Saviour Himself has encouraged us to call upon the Omnipotent One. To strengthen our confidence in Elohim, the Saviour has taught us to call upon Him by a new name, a title that is entwined with the closest affections and deepest love of the human heart. He has given us the honor of calling Elohim our "Father."
This name, spoken to Him and of Him, is a sign of our love and trust toward Him, and a pledge of His regard and relationship to us. Spoken when asking His favor or blessing, it is as music in His ears. That we might not think it presumption to call Him by this name, He has repeated it again and again. He desires us to become familiar with the appellation [name]. . . . [Elohim] regards us as His children. He has redeemed us out of the careless world and has chosen us to become members of the royal family, sons and daughters of the heavenly King. He invites us to trust in Him with a trust deeper and stronger than that of a child in his earthly father. Parents love their children, but the love of . . . [Elohim] is larger, broader, deeper, than human love can possibly be. It is immeasurable. Then if earthly parents know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more shall our Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?6
Scripture tells us that Elohim is LOVE. (See 1 John 4:8.) As the embodiment of pure love, He does not set exacting standards of bodily position or perfect pronunciation before He will listen to our prayers. He assures every hesitant soul, "All that come to Me, I will in no wise cast out." (See John 6:37.) In His "Sermon on the Mount" the Saviour taught what kinds of prayer are acceptable and what kinds of prayer are unacceptable to Elohim. He said:
When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. . . . [And] when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them.7
Prayer is never to be a particular set of words or motions we go through in order to buy divine favor. The Saviour explained that such tradition and theatrics were unnecessary when speaking to the Father.
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. . . . For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.8
Prayer is not for the purpose of making known to Elohim our needs. He already knows our needs and has the way all planned to provide for us.
Prayer is the opening of the heart to . . . [the Father] as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to . . . [Elohim] what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring . . . [the Father] down to us, but brings us up to Him.9
Or, as Oswald Chambers once said: "Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means for getting something for ourselves; the Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know . . . [Elohim] Himself." This is the purpose of prayer, and it is the reason why it is important to know the divine Name. Elohim's personal name is as holy as Himself and it is a revelation of His character.
When a person knows Elohim as his loving Father, he will have the trust to call upon His name in prayer. This will not be a lazy, half-hearted, vague prayer. Charles H. Spurgeon, the well-respected minister from the 19th century once observed: "There is a general kind of praying which fails for lack of precision. It is as if a regiment of soldiers should all fire off their guns anywhere. Possibly somebody would be killed, but the majority of the enemy would be missed." A person who trusts his Maker as he trusts his human father, will not be afraid to lay out his needs in as simple and trusting a manner as a child asks for a drink of water when he is too short to reach the faucet.
We are to trust to the promise of . . . [Elohim]. We are to go about our business believing that . . . [He] will do just what He has said He would do, and that the blessings we have prayed for will come to us when we most need them. Every petition enters into the heart of . . . [the Father] when we come believing. We have not faith enough. We should look upon our heavenly Father as more willing to help us than an earthly parent is to help his child. Why not trust Him? "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32) 10
Prayer is a privilege, but it is not a luxury that one can take or leave at the dictates of whim or time. Calling upon the Name of the Father is a vital necessity! As the great Protestant Reformer, John Wesley, once observed: "I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it."
Prayer is the breath of the soul, the channel of all blessings. As . . . the repentant soul offers its prayer, . . . [the Father] sees its struggles, watches its conflicts, and marks its sincerity. He has His finger upon its pulse, and He takes note of every throb. Not a feeling thrills it, not an emotion agitates it, not a sorrow shades it, not a sin stains it, not a thought or purpose moves it, of which He is not cognizant. That soul was purchased at an infinite cost, and is loved with a devotion that is unalterable.11
One who loves his heavenly Father, will not hesitate to call upon His name in every trial or perplexity. Trusting in the love and power of the One Who bears the name of promise, it is a natural thing to follow Paul's instructions: "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of . . . [Elohim] in . . . [the Saviour] for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NKJV) The Saviour
has urged that His people pray without ceasing. This does not mean that we should always be upon our knees, but that prayer is to be as the breath of the soul. Our silent requests, wherever we may be, are to be ascending unto . . . [the Father], and . . . [the Saviour] our Advocate pleads in our behalf, bearing up with the incense of His righteousness our requests to the Father.12
It is not possible to be continually on one's knees. However, the heart may be drawn to the Father in prayer. When in trouble, when sad or confused, prayers, like arrows flown heavenward, receive the immediate attention of the Father. In His presence is fullness of joy! It is our privilege to be in His presence when we pray. Therefore, prayer should be as natural to His children as breathing. "Accustom yourself gradually to carry Prayer into all your daily occupation -- speak, act, work in peace, as if you were in prayer, as indeed you ought to be."13
Tell . . . [the Father] all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell . . . [Him] your troubles, that . . . [He] may comfort you; . . . [tell Him] your longings, that . . . [He] may purify them; tell . . . [Him] your dislikes, that . . . [He] may help you conquer them; talk to . . . [the Father] of your temptations, that . . . [He] may shield you from them: show . . . [Elohim] the wounds of your heart, that . . . [He] may heal them. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. Talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration say just what you think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with . . . [their Maker].14
While engaged in our daily work, we should lift the soul to heaven in prayer. These silent petitions rise like incense before the throne of grace; and the enemy is baffled. The Christian whose heart is thus stayed upon . . . [Elohim] cannot be overcome. No evil arts can destroy his peace. All the promises of . . . [the Father's] word, all the power of divine grace, all the resources of . . . [the Omnipotent One], are pledged to secure his deliverance.
It is a wonderful thing that we can pray effectually, that unworthy, erring mortals possess the power of offering their requests to . . . [their Creator]. What higher power can man desire than this,--to be linked with the infinite . . . [One]? Feeble, sinful man has the privilege of speaking to his Maker. We may utter words that reach the throne of the Monarch of the universe. We may speak with . . . [our Saviour] as we walk by the way, and He says, I am at thy right hand.
We may commune with . . . [the Father] in our hearts; we may walk in companionship with . . . [His Son]. When engaged in our daily labor, we may breathe out our heart's desire, inaudible to any human ear; but that word cannot die away into silence, nor can it be lost. Nothing can drown the soul's desire. It rises above the din of the street, above the noise of machinery. It is . . . [Elohim] to whom we are speaking, and our prayer is heard.
Ask, then; ask, and ye shall receive. Ask for humility, wisdom, courage, increase of faith. To every sincere prayer an answer will come. It may not come just as you desire, or at the time you look for it; but it will come in the way and at the time that will best meet your need. The prayers you offer in loneliness, in weariness, in trial, . . . [your Father] answers, not always according to your expectations, but always for your good.15
When you call upon the name of the Father, you may not always see or feel an immediate response. However, your prayer is always immediately heard. It is often said that sometimes the answer isyes; sometimes the answer is no; and sometimes the answer is wait awhile.
But too often, people give up too soon. They either do not persevere in praying, or they think perhaps they are asking for something too large and ask for something smaller. However, the Father "does not delay to hear our prayers because He has no mind to give; but that, by enlarging our desires, He may give us the more largely."16
Sometimes a person just learning to pray is unsure how to pray. It is always appropriate to give thanks to your Creator. Tell Him what you are thankful for! You can also pray what has come to be known as "The Lord's Prayer." This is the prayer which the Saviour taught in His Sermon on the Mount:
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13, KJV)
This is also the prayer that He taught His disciples. (See Luke 11:2-4.) It is the model prayer because it acknowledges the Father in Heaven, it asks for His will to be done, it lays out the simple needs and asks for spiritual blessings, while leaving all to Him Who is infinite in wisdom. There would be nothing wrong with praying this perfect prayer to close one's own private times of prayer every day.
Secret prayer, prayer prayed in the privacy of one's own heart, brings divine strength needed by all who would overcome in the warfare against sin and self. However, there are other types of prayer that can be a great blessing as well. Praying in groups can be a tremendous blessing, as the Holy Spirit comes and draws hearts together in unison and up to Elohim. Sometimes, if there is a large group, people will break up into small groups of four or five.
Another way to pray that brings tremendous blessings is praying "in one accord." One person starts the prayer and tells the Father what is on his heart. Another person can join in at any time, and anyone else can, too. When praying around a circle, one at a time, the Holy Spirit can bring thoughts to the mind that, by the time one's own turn comes to pray, have already been forgotten. Being free to speak up and pray "in one accord" as the Spirit moves is a deeply enriching and spiritually uplifting experience.
The Creator has given every encouragement for His children to call upon His name.
Our heavenly Father waits to bestow upon us the fullness of His blessing. It is our privilege to drink largely at the fountain of boundless love. What a wonder it is that we pray so little! . . . [Elohim] is ready and willing to hear the sincere prayer of the humblest of His children, and yet there is much manifest reluctance on our part to make known our wants to . . . [Him]. What can the angels of heaven think of poor helpless human beings, who are subject to temptation, when . . . [the Creator's] heart of infinite love yearns toward them, ready to give them more than they can ask or think, and yet they pray so little and have so little faith? The angels love to bow before . . . [their Maker]; they love to be near Him. They regard communion with . . . [their Creator] as their highest joy; and yet the children of earth, who need so much the help that . . . [Elohim] only can give, seem satisfied to walk without the light of His Spirit, the companionship of His presence.
The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray. The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin; and it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that . . . [the Father] has given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of . . . [Elohim] be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven's storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence? 17
Call upon the name of your Creator! He is waiting with longing heart to answer your prayers. He will be found by all who call upon His name in faith.
- His Name is Wonderful | Part 2 - In the Name of the Father
- His Name is Wonderful | Part 3 - In the Name of the Son
- His Name is Wonderful | Part 4 - His Name in My Forehead
1 El, #410, The New Strong's Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words.)
2Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics, James Hastings, John A. Selbie, and Louis H. Gray, eds., (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1917), Vol. 9, p. 152.
3 E. G. White, Steps to Christ, pp. 94-95.
5 Timothy Jones
6 E. G. White, Christ's Object Lessons, p. 142.
7 Matthew 6:5, 7-8a, NKJV
8 Matthew 6:6, 8b, NKJV
9 E. G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 93.
10 E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 230.
11 E. G. White, Maranatha, p. 85.
12 E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 78.
13 François Fénelon
15 E. G. White, Messages to Young People, pp. 249-250.
16 Anselm of Caterbury
17 E. G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 94.