Praying the Lesser Known Names of God

What if I told you I hold a title of “Lady” based on owning a small plot of land on the other side of the pond? It’s true! My husband purchased a very tiny land parcel in Dunfermline, Scotland as my birthday gift this year, compete with a printed proclamation of “elevated” social status and all. A title tells you something about the person bearing it’s name. Here are some more examples.

Although my name is Helen, that’s not what everyone calls me.  My kids call me, “Mama.”  My only sister’s daughter, my niece, calls me “Aunt Ellie”. My mom used to call me “Helen Jean” when she really wanted to get my attention. My email signature for work has some initials after my name, indicating my level of education and area of expertise.  Each of these names, or additions to my name, tell you something about me. Some attribute. What are some of the names or titles people call you? What do those words tell others about you?

Did you know God has different names to reflect His attributes as well?  Usually when I pray, I start out with “Father God…” or “Lord God…”, but He has so many more names, especially when you look at the original language they were written in! These names provide so much more dimension than the name “God” or “Lord” alone. We can call on these names when we want to humbly worship or petition Him in ways that correspond to various aspects of His character. 

Abba is an endearing term that means “Father” similar to what a young child might say to their own father when they want him to know how special he is.  Here’s a few more:

Adonai = “Lord” (Exodus 4:10-12)

El Shaddai = “God Almighty” or “God the All-Sufficient One” (Genesis 17:2-3)

Yahweh-jireh = “Yahweh will provide” (Genesis 22:11-14).

Yahweh-raah = “Yahweh My Shepherd” (Psalms 23:1)

Yahweh–nissi = “Yahweh My Banner” (Exodus 17:16)

Yahweh-rapha = “Yahweh who heals” (Exodus 15:26)

Isn’t that amazing!?  Which attribute do you need to call out to today?  Which one do you need to speak over a loved one?  Which one do you feel led to praise Him for?  The names for God go on and on in the Bible.  We would be hard pressed to find a need that would not coincide with one of His very many Names.  He is quite literally all-encompassing. Our every need can be met in and through Him, and He wants to meet those needs.  We simply have to call out to Him by name and ask.


Yahweh-Jireh, you alone are my provider! Nothing of this world can fill voids in my life that only you can fulfill. If there is any place in my life where I am lacking then what I yearn for in those areas is not really a need at all. I trust you to meet my every need as I need it! Thank you for that! I am so grateful that I can call on you by name and that you know me by mine. You have an entire universe hanging in the balance, and yet you care about me and our relationship with one another. That truly leaves me speechless! Today, I do not even want to ask you for anything at all. I just want to praise you for being you and for your ultimate provision found in the resurrection and ascension of your son.

In Jesus’ Holy and Precious Name,


To add to the conversation about calling on the names of God, here is a song our home church loves to sing during worship on Sundays. Now that we know that Jireh means “provider” see how much more meaning the words can hold and enjoy!!

How to Overcome Negative Emotions

Despite currently communicating my thoughts in writing and for anyone to see, I used to be much more guarded.  I would only share if among my closest friends. Also, any number of other criteria needed to be checked off my self-created mental list of what would deem a situation safe enough to discuss what was on my heart. You may be thinking this girl has some trust issues.  You wouldn’t be wrong. God’s working on that, too, dear reader, but as I was saying…

I attended a women’s retreat and was placed in a small group with only two other individuals: one of my best friends and the retreat’s guest speaker, a woman who had gone to seminary with our pastor. In other words, all boxes in aforementioned mental checklist were checked to the Nth degree, and my brain told my heart it was safe enough to share (or did my heart tell my brain?). Leave it to God to create such a space at such a time when those listening could not only be trusted but offer life-changing counsel as well.  

Once in that safe little bubble, I shared that I had been feeling guilty about the life I used to lead and was trying to grow away from. I had been feeling guilty over all the time I wasted away. I even felt guilty for feeling guilty.  I knew better! Needless to say, I­­ was guilt-ridden about all the things, and I had dared not tell another soul about all this pent up guilt until then. 

How could I genuinely lead the life I was being called to live if I had such a negative thought pattern holding me captive to my past?

In typical pastor fashion, the guest speaker in my very small group tried to coax a solution out of me as opposed to just telling me what my issue was. I totally fell for it.  She asked where my guilt came from.  Not quite picking up what she was putting down, I guessed the source of my guilt was a nun who had taught me in Catholic school. Spoiler alert: that wasn’t it. 

She gently pushed a little more. “God doesn’t want you to feel this guilt. If it doesn’t come from God, where does it come from?”  Just like that, literal dots were being literally connected by literal lines all over the place…figuratively speaking…and I responded by blurting out, “It comes from Satan?!?!”

She knowingly smiled and explained how if something comes from the enemy it cannot come from God. She prompted me to call the guilt out by name and declare that it would not have a place in my life any longer. That was easy! If it wasn’t from God, and I knew it wasn’t (knowing is the hard part, sometimes), then I surely didn’t want any part of it!

I declared, “Guilt, you no longer have a hold on me.”  And guess what?  It didn’t.  From that moment on, I have been liberated to peacefully and simultaneously co-exist with the knowledge of who I once was and who God continually calls me to be. 

Bonus: You can apply the latter practice to anything at all which is not from Him: call it by name and declare its hold on you defeated. Once the emotion or fallacy from the enemy is recognized, called out and conquered, replace it with this truth:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5


Father God, thank you for orchestrating moments in my life which can only be composed by your loving hands.  Thank you for the people you put in my path, whether for a lifetime, a season, or just a few hours.  Thank you for the ability to get to know you better through your Word and through fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  It is in knowing you better that I can better know your voice and discern it from the enemy’s.  If something is not aligned with your will for my life, please awaken me to what that could be and remove whatever may be getting in my way. 

In Jesus’ Holy and Precious Name,



Finding my Voice

Now, this is what I originally drafted to be my maiden blog post, but I decided to add some additional content last week at the last minute. So, here I am, stringing words together in hopes that they strike some chord with you.  That you can relate to something I’ve been through, how I dealt with this thing or that, or that I can offer new perspectives on an old problem.  But how? 

It’s one thing to sit around a kitchen table with friends and offer advice or lend an ear. It’s an entirely other matter to sit at a computer and rally enough thoughts together that they coherently blend into something substantive enough that someone else would want to read them.  Thus…here I am…finding my voice.  Do I focus on being a parent of three?  A spouse? Full-time professional in post-graduate school? Self-declared DIYer? 

Perhaps what’s so challenging about focusing on any one of these identities is that they are somewhat transient and incomplete.  By and large, they depend on other aspects subject to change and are still only a portion of who I am, even on a good day!  For example, although parenting and marriage are relatively permanent (until death do us part!), how those roles play out in my life will largely depend on the season of life I’m in, thus rendering them transitory; and the totality of these parts are still wildly lacking, thus leading me right into the present conundrum of finding my voice.

Nonetheless, do you know what doesn’t change? Christ’s love for me.  I was made in His image.  According to Psalm 139:14, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, regardless of how I may feel or which hat I have on.  I am His.  And so are you.  Every other role we are blessed with can be seen in light of our relationship to Him.  When doing so, we can more fully appreciate the roles temporarily assigned to us, better recognize the Lord’s provisions, and respond in love accordingly.  It’s in Him that I am finding my voice, or rather, more correctly, finding His voice inside of me.  How about you?  Do you yearn to hear His voice?  Go to Him. If you don’t know how, ask Him to show you. He will, and He’s been waiting for you to ask.

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