Next time you pray, be sure you speak to Dad

  • Follow Your Faith

How do you address God in prayer? Most people tend to have one name when they speak to the holy one in prayer.

Some stick with God and simply add adjectives such as awesome, amazing or infinite. Others like to use names such as Jehovah.

What those people do not realize is that the name Jehovah is a combination of the vowels from the Hebrew word Adonai, meaning Lord, and the consonants of YHWH, the four-letter sacred name of God in the Hebrew Bible, most often seen in English as "I am" (Exodus 3:14).

The name Jehovah appears in the King James Version as the result of the translators' ignorance of the Hebrew language and customs. Somehow, Jehovah remains a popular name for God in the English-speaking world.

A few weeks ago, I was at a meeting with other ministers. We began the meeting with prayer, and the man who opened began with "Dad." He called God Dad!

As I listened to his prayer, there was a sense of intimacy that I seldom hear in the prayers of others, let alone my own. In Romans 8:15-16, Paul says that as followers of Jesus, "You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry 'Abba, Father!' it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God."

Abba is an Aramaic word, and its English equivalent would be similar to dad, daddy or papa. What Paul is saying is that we can call the God of the universe "Daddy" because we are his children.

As I began trying this new way of talking with God, I quickly found that there is a connectedness in talking to God as "Dad" that we miss when we use other names. Abba is who Jesus taught us about; and praying to him leads us to know that God is not a distant entity, rather he is the pops who is there for us in every situation we find ourselves in.

It was a liberating experience to pray to God as "Pops." My prayer for you is that when you try, you might experience the love of your dad in a whole new way.

The Rev. Will Dyer is the pastor of Grovetown United Methodist Church.

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howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 12/19/09 - 09:40 am
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Agreed. But, let's make sure

Agreed. But, let's make sure we take a balanced approach. God is indeed the "Dad" of His children, but He's also a holy almighty God who is to be feared (respected) for His awesome wrath as well as His awesome love. They go hand in hand. Kids are prone to take their dad for granted. Never do that with God.

subterraneanne
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subterraneanne 12/19/09 - 11:52 am
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Then a question: Why is YHWH

Then a question: Why is YHWH in the Bible over 7000 times. Why do you add vowels to any of the Hebrew names at all? How can you keep the 10 commandments http://bible.cc/deuteronomy/5-11.htm if you do not know Gods name(lord is just a title and even Satan is called a god in the Bible - http://bible.cc/2_corinthians/4-4.htm). How can you you say the Lords prayer http://bible.cc/matthew/6-9.htm and keep Jehovah's name hallowed if you do not know it and use it?

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 12/19/09 - 01:44 pm
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God's "name", according to

God's "name", according to Him, is translated roughly "I Am". This is the name we see Jesus using a number of time in the Gospel of John. That's really all we need to know. It conveys the eternality of God: never past, never future, but always present. It's a perfect name. No wonder God chose it to try and help us understand a bit of His divine nature.

JackC1
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JackC1 12/20/09 - 10:49 am
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It has been maintained by

It has been maintained by some recent scholars that the word Jehovah dates only from the year 1520 represents Peter Galatinus as the inventor of the word Jehovah, and F agius as it propagator in the world of scholars and commentators. But the writers of the sixteenth century, Catholic and Protestant, are perfectly familiar with the word. Galatinus himself represents the form as known and received in his time. Besides, Drusius discovered it in Porchetus, a theologian of the fourteenth century. Finally, the word is found even in the Pugio fidei of Raymund Martin, a work written about 1270. Probably the introduction of the name Jehovah antedates even R. Martin. No wonder then that this form has been regarded as the true pronunciation of the Divine name by such scholars as Michaelis...Catholic Encyclopedia

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