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The Name of God

Today’s Reflection

WHAT WE CALL God is important; it is anchored to our emotions, even though we may be unaware of that. The fact that some people become upset at hearing God addressed in unfamiliar ways demonstrates the emotional ties to names for God. While calling God father reveals something of the relationship God wants with us, others might understand that relationship better by calling God mother. The isue is not the word we use for God but what image of God enables us to know God’s love, approach God gladly, and feel that we are warmly welcomed.

Some people grew up in churches or traditions that named or described God more often as a judge than as a loving parent. Bible verses such as “Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling kiss his feet, or he will be angry and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled” (Psalm 2:11) evoke uncomfortable emotional memories. God has been painted too often as an avenger surrounded by eternal fire. Jesus’ model prayer invites us to look at God differently, to discover that no matter what we have experienced — the best and the worst — the relationship God offers is far richer, deeper, and more healing than we have ever had with any person. Whatever we need to call God in order to enter fully into that relationship, Jesus would no doubt approve of.

– Mary Lou Redding
The Lord’s Prayer

From pages 22-23 of The Lord’s Prayer: Jesus Teaches Us How to Pray by Mary Lou Redding. Copyright © 2011 by Mary Lou Redding. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What name do you use for God most often when you pray? What about this image of God draws you toward God?

Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.
Ruth 1:16, NRSV

This Week: pray for those seeking employment. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

Do you long for a deeper experience of faith and a place to nourish your spiritual life? The Academy for Spiritual Formation® is excited to announce that Academy #35 is coming to the Mercy Center in Burlingame, California and we’re looking for qualified recruits to participate in this life-changing opportunity. Academy #35 begins in January 2013. Applications, brochures and additional details are available at http://academy.upperroom.org/

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember Jude (October 28).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2012, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Jill October 30, 2012, 4:09 am

    “Father” is the name I invoke most often. And now, Father – I ask that you be with all of those impacted by this awful storm. Father – especially give wisdom and safety to those who are willing to risk injury or worse to help rescue those stranded and endangered. You are always in control. Help us to be ready to assist in any way possible. Show us what you would have us do.

  • robert moeller October 30, 2012, 5:00 am

    I don’t have an image of God that comes from words for God. God is unseen. God passes by in the wind, he speaks from the clouds or sky. He is. For Jesus, God with us, my most common image is the picture that hangs in many churches, but of course we have no real likeness. That takes us back to the real nature of God, unseen but there always.

    Yes, I pray for all who are in need because of Hurricane Sandy. Guide us Lord that we become part of your expression of love for those who are affected by the storm. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

    Help all looking for employment to find a job. In their search may believers renew their faith and hope in you Lord. May the unbelief of others be gone as they find you and work. All good things come from you, Lord.

  • Betsy October 30, 2012, 6:08 am

    Father God is the one I use most often when praying. It evokes an image of a loving parent, ready to listen to my joys and sorrows.

    Father God, please be with those in harm’s way during this storm. Keep them safe as your servants work to help those in need. I pray for good to come out of this through compassion, mercy and unselfish gifts from your people. Amen

  • Bob Kinzel October 30, 2012, 9:03 am

    Are you guys aware that the “Saints, Inc.” section of Dailey Reflections has been out of order since last week?

  • heidi October 30, 2012, 10:03 am

    I am my Father’s little girl, and God is my Daddy. I crawl into his lap and he listens to my every worry, my feeblest fear. Never ridicules, only consoles.

    With Jill, I pray for those whose lives have been stood on end by this hurricane. I am on the fringes, had some major rains and winds (!) and cannot imagine the horrors of those more heavily involved. In my own backyard, the most difficult thing I encountered is a very unnerved papa cardinal. We seldom think, actively, about the effects such storms have on the wildlife. This must have been catastrophic– in many ways.

    Lord God– Daddy– send your comfort, your peace and your perfect provision for all who cry out, regardless of their needs. Help them– and us– to remember that you care, even for the sparrows, and are always, ever faithful. Amen

  • Roberta October 30, 2012, 11:31 am

    I always seem to call him Lord which reminds me that He is the master of my life and I am his servant.
    Lord, hold us close as we face the earthquakes and storms of the weather and of life. Give us the strength to pray for Your will to be done in all things. We love you and trust you Lord. Amen

  • Buzz October 30, 2012, 12:26 pm

    “Almighty God” is the name I use most commonly. I need to be aware of God’s power. “God Almighty” goes here.
    No verbal name is second. I am often aware of God’s Holy Spirit within me. This is a comfort but also a target of my ire but also the focus of my praise. This address is too personal for shared prayer. It’s for me.

    “Lord” does not compute for me.

    “Father” and “Abba” I rarely use. My earthly father and I had an adversarial relationship throughout my life until his death when I was in my 50’s.

    Praying for the victims of “Sandy” and all negative natural weather.

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