Teaching in a jail setting, I quickly learned that the sergeants, corrections officers and other jail staff call inmates by their last names. However, when the inmates come to class, they are my students for the next one to three hours. During that time, I use their first names. I think it’s important during the brief class time, that the inmates realize that I see them as students and as individuals. They seem to like hearing their first name being used. I also realize, once they return back to the pod (living quarters), that they have nicknames for each other—Crusher, Beast, Brains, Poker Face, etc. Again, these names provide some individuality and allow inmates to feel unique in the sea of orange or blue jail uniforms.
Thus, I often wonder how God feels when we use some of His special names. I have fallen into the habit of starting out my prayers with “Dear God” or “Dear Heavenly Father”. But at least once a week, I purposely start out my prayer using some of God’s other names. For example, “Dear Precious Lord. Thank you for being my Redeemer, my Counselor, my Solid Rock.” As I pray these words, I think about what they mean and the assurance that we have in God.
How about you? Do you refer to God by some of His other names? I encourage you as we go through the “Marvel at the Great I AM” series, to utilize some of these special names in your prayers during your quiet time. To help you out, here are some of God’s names…
Jehovah, Abba, Comforter, Lord of lords, Almighty One, Deliverer, Emanuel, and Living Water. One reference indicates that there are 900+ names and titles for God! Wow! Imagine starting out your prayer with a different name or title each time!
Let’s truly marvel at the Great I AM!