God revealed himself to Israel in a variety of names. In the bible, names carry particular significance. They are sources of revelation and a glimpse into the mystery of the bearer’s identity. Names and titles for God express something of the character, presence, authority and nature of the divine being. It should not surprise us that images for and names of God can be more mysterious than comprehensible. They invite us into contemplation of the holy One. They compel us toward worship rather than explanations. Behold. Look. See. Meditate. Open wide to the God who is beyond and above, yet at the same moment God in and with us.
SUGGESTIONS FOR MEDITATION ON THE NAMES OF GOD
Take time to become still. Let the noise go. Do not follow the stray thoughts and distractions. Let them go as best you can. Prepare to be in the presence of God. Imagine yourself coming to one of the persons of the Trinity: Father, Son or Holy Spirit. What image comes to mind? Are you walking hand in hand with Jesus? Are you laying your head on the Father’s shoulder? Are you sensing the wind of the Spirit that blows where it wills? Stay with God. Be open to listen. Allow God’s name to draw you into the company of the holy Three in One.
Is there a name of God that is particularly meaningful to you at this moment? For instance, “Healer,” “Good Shepherd” or “Creator.” Breathing deeply, quietly repeat the name. Let God’s name move from the crown of your head to your feet. Rest in the name. tell God what you sense about him through this name. thank and honor God who comes.
Slowly and quietly run your eyes over the names of God listed above. Does any particular word catch your attention? Stay with the word that touches you and draws you into contemplation. Don’t hurry to another word. Listen and wait. Contemplate the beauty of God represented in the name. sing a song that uses the name. write your own psalm of praise to the God who is named here. Knowing a name for God can be quite different than resting in the presence of the One whose name you honor.
Form a short-sentenced prayer using the name for God that touches you.
If you desire a deeper connection with some part of God’s character and person at particular times of stress, temptation or responsibility, write the name of God that touches you with its sufficiency. Place this name where you can see and remember it: by your computer, on a mirror, in your gym bag. When you can, enter into the name with your attention and intention. Rest in God. Continually thank God for his presence using your chosen name.
Slowly, over days and weeks, wend your way through the names of God written above. Let these names lead you into prayers of gratitude for the immensity and presence of God in your life. And when God is silent, remember that he somehow made himself known to Elijah in a whisper (1 Kings 19:12).
Names for Worshiping God