Have you ever contemplated the origin and meaning of your first name? My christened name, Allan, is primarily Celtic in origin – meaning handsome. Throughout life, I have been identified by many verbal and written variations of my name – some endearing, some exasperating. I wonder if people fully understand the personal and relational dynamic of a name, especially when we petition or address God.

Today’s culture often defames our Lord’s name – speaking it in vain or with lack of reverence. Many religions defer to the generic name — God. However, Old and New Testament believers, including the psalmists, revered the True God’s name and considered it holy, consecrated, sanctified, and set apart. Ancient believers considered God’s name too holy to speak or write – substituting God’s Hebrew name, YHWH, for Hashem, meaning the name. The phrase the name is unique – pointing to a name that transcends every name and is both awesome and holy. Throughout scripture, God also reveals His heart and character through His name. In Matthew 6:9, Jesus, petitioning our Father, acknowledges and reiterates God’s name as exclusive.

So, what’s in The Name to us today? Is it sacred or secular? Has God’s name become too familiar for today’s believers that we neglect the sacred formality of reverence and respect? The Name is above all names – set apart and sanctified for those who have the privilege of knowing Him through His Son – those He makes worthy to pronounce Him as Adonai (Lord) and to those who reverently and endearingly call Him ABBA (Father). Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Dear Heavenly Father: Lord, your Name is above all names – holy and sanctified. Forgive me if I have spoken your Name in vain or with lack of reverence. Thank you for the privilege of freely being able to call upon your Name and reverently and endearingly call you Lord and Father. Amen.

Go Deeper – Ask yourself this: Do I revere God’s name as holy? Do I ever use it in vain? Prayerfully examine your heart – asking the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s heart and character through His name(s) YHWH, ADONAI, and ABBA – revealing the deeper relational dynamic and meaning behind the ancient words.

Tags: The Lord's Prayer Psalm 99
Photo Credit: Vincent Guth