Using the Ancient Names of God in Prayer

Using the Ancient Names of God in Prayer



I walked into the hotel exhausted from my eight hour solo drive.

“Name?” asked the friendly front desk clerk.

“Lee,” I responded while fumbling with my bags.

Without missing a beat he said, “Oh! Andy Lee?”

It always awakens my senses when someone I don’t know somehow knows my name--not that it happens very often, but when it does, I’m taken aback My face must have given away my thoughts and he explained he’d just spoken with the head of the conference and gone through the list of names. Even though the list was fresh on his mind, I liked him. He knew my name.

Our names are important to us. Whenever someone calls us by name–especially someone we don’t know, it gets our attention.

I’m not good at remembering names.  I always feel awful when I know someone but her name won’t retrieve itself from the cobwebs otherwise known as my brain. Don’t you hate it when the missed opportune name comes to you two hour after the encounter?

Well, all of this “importance of our name” pondering has led me to thoughts about praying to God and calling on His name–what that means and its relevance to our lives.

Jeremiah prophesied God’s promise:

“….Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

– Jeremiah 29:12

It blesses me to think of attaining the favor of God’s ear. I mean, I pray, and I pray everyday believing I have an audience with Him. This is not a new concept. But this verse makes it personal like pouring your heart out to an attentive friend over a cup of Starbucks.

“I will listen to you,” He whispers from ancient days looking me straight in the eye.

Though I know this verse was first penned for the Israelites, the beauty of the Bible is that those words also speak to our individual hearts. And they also demonstrate the character of God.

But something must happen before He listens.

We must call upon Him and pray to Him. What does it mean to “call upon” God?

I’m so glad you asked. (Smile.)

It’s more than saying, “Help!” or “Hey, you!” The Hebrew word translated in the NIV as “call upon” is Qara. According to the Key Word Study Bible, Qara:

 ….Rarely refers to a random outcry. Qara is used to signify the act of naming ...Naming a person may specify that individual’s primary characteristic, be an evaluation, or recognize an eternal truth in the sense of summoning for a specific task. Another prominent usage has to do with calling on the name of God; that is to summon His aid…. (Key Word NIV p. 1549)

God has many names.

God has many names specific to His attributes and how He has been experienced by His people. He told Moses to tell the Israelites that “I AM” had sent Him.  That name signifies the One who was and is before time itself. The One who encompasses all things and can do all things.

He is known as

  • Elohim, God, Mighty Creator,
  • EL Shadday, God Almighty,
  • Yaweh Yireh, God Will Provide,
  • Yaweh Rophe, God Who Heals.
  • Abba, Father
  • EL Roi, God Who Sees Me

Just to name a few.

Jesus is named

  • Immanuel, God With Us
  • Sar Shalom, Prince of Peace
  • Ga’al, Redeemer
  • Yeshua, Jesus the Savior

Something stirs within when I begin my petitions to my EL Roi, The God Who Sees Me or to Abba, my heavenly Daddy.

One of my most cherished books, one that never gets lost or dusty because I use it for reference often is Praying the Names of God, by Ann Spangler. If this post stirs an interest in your spirit to know more about God’s names, I recommend this purchase. It’s a keeper.

Bite of Bread Bible Reading Plan


Sneak Peek

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (ELOHIM)

Genesis 16:13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (EL ROI)

Genesis 17: 1-2 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” (EL SHADDAY) 

Genesis 22: 13-14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” (YAHWEH YIREH)

Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (YAWEH ROPHE)

Matthew 1:22-23 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Free Printable of these verses with questions and prompts.

Daily Broadcast

I’m looking forward to unpacking these special names of God and the scriptures on my Daily Broadcast! I hope you can join us on Facebook at 8:20 ET AM Monday-Friday. I feel this will be a special week. If you aren’t a Facebook guru, you can find the videos on my You Tube page. If you are on Facebook, join the broadcast to learn how to enter the giveaway of Ann Spangler’s book!

I know many who need to call on the specific names of their God and His attributes as healer, provider, peace, creator, Almighty strength, and my favorite, El Roi, the God who sees me.

He sees you right where you are. He knows your name. Now you know His. 

Call on Him specifically. Why wouldn’t God cherish that we call His name? We’re made just like Him–in His image. If someone knowing our names perks our ears, why wouldn’t it His?

Which name speaks to your soul?


Digging Deep to Live Fully,


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Bible Reading Plan Calling on the Ancient Names of God in #Prayer Click To Tweet


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