...by any other name

Calling on the Holy Spirit in prayer


Calling it like it is

My two year old daughter is still getting to grips with the English language. Sometimes she does not know what things are called so she calls them by what they do. With this scheme she gets by quite well. A toy aeroplane is called ‘a fly’, a toy hammer is called ‘a tap tap’, a toy screwdriver is called ‘a fixing’ She knows exactly what each thing is for because the name declares it.

Naming God

This means to describe things is found frequently in the Bible. In the Old Testament, particularly, God and the Messiah are often called by other describing names. ‘Wonderful’, ‘Counsellor’, ‘Almighty’, ‘Father’ - there are loads and loads. I was thinking about this and I was thinking that we don’t often do this with the Holy Spirit. Is this because we are a little less sure of what He is, or means to us and what He is meant to do for us? When we pray we want the Holy Spirit to lead our praying for ‘we do not know what to pray for’. When we ask Him to come and fill us/ help us, maybe we could use some different names so we are sure exactly what we expect Him to do. Is it the power; is it the introduction to the throne; is it the knowledge of the will of the Father, that we want?

I don’t mind my children calling me Mother because it is my job to mother them. I don’t believe the Holy Spirit will mind us calling Him, in the pattern of the Old Testament, by what He does, especially if it raises our expectations of working in partnership with Him some more. Try keeping this idea in mind next time you pray.

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This article © Linda Faber 2006-2009.