Each time God revealed a new part of his character to someone in the Bible, they added a new name. In Genesis 16:13, after being found crying and instructed to return to Sarah, Hagar called him the God who Sees (El-Roi). In Gen. 22:14 when God provided a ram for the sacrifice, Abraham called him the Lord who Provides (Jehovah-jireh). At times we need different things, and as we pray we can use the names of God in the Bible to express that we need Him and what we need from Him.
Just like getting to know a person, we learn about God through our interactions with Him and through His character traits. The more we learn of God’s character, the more we get to know him. Listed below are names of God you can use as you talk with the Lord.
El is the Hebrew name for God, who is sovereign and powerful, our Maker. This is often found in individuals’ names in the Bible, like Elijah, Elisha, Michael, Ezekiel, Gabriel, etc. Jehovah is the name LORD, and is usually in small caps in Scripture to denote the name Yahweh or I am. The name Jehovah, or I am, is related to the Hebrew verb “to be” and could be translated as “I am actively present” or “to be a present reality.”1 He is the self-existing Lord. He is eternal and does not change.
So, depending on what you are going through, need, or have seen God do, you can use that name in prayer. If you feel abandoned, know He is El Roi. If you need healing or have been healed, call on or thank Jehovah-Rophe. If you feel you are in the middle of spiritual warfare, converse with El Sali or Jehovah-Sabaoth. If He has given you peace, praise Jehovah-Shalom. See more names below.
El Elyon – the Most High God
El Emet – the God of Truth
El Hanne’eman – the Faithful God, supports and nourishes
El Olam – God Everlasting
El Roi – God Who Sees Me
El Sali – the God of my Strength
El Shaddai – God Almighty, the All Sufficient God powerful and willing to supply
Elohim – God; Sovereign, Powerful, Maker
Jehovah-Jireh – The Lord our Provider
Jehovah-M’Kaddesh – The Lord who Sanctifies
Jehovah-Nissi – The Lord our Banner
Jehovah-Rohi – The Lord our Shepherd
Jehovah-Rophe – The Lord our Healer
Jehovah-Sabaoth – The Lord of Hosts
Jehovah-Shalom – The Lord our Peace
Using the names of God in prayer can add a level of intimacy as you get to know more of His character. It can also remind you how He cares for every person, meets needs individually, and that He is able and willing to walk with you through every part of your life.
1 Jehovah definitions taken from the article “Jehovah” in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary (2011).
A couple of other resources for you:
What name of God resonates most with you right now in life?
What name has been prevalent throughout your life or has strengthened you in the past?