I have written about the importance of the name of Jesus when you pray. In my mind the name of Jesus is an expression of His nature, not simply a means of recognizing who we are talking to or about.
For quite some time now, I’ve been thinking about the nature of God. He is what He is (as opposed to the that faithless concept, “It is what it is”, so popular in our society today!).
He is what he has always been.
He was, He is, He shall be. Was, is and shall be express time, but, He doesn’t think in terms of time or place in the same way we do. In fact, even the concept of thinking about time, in and of itself, is a human trait and not necessarily characteristic of God. He Is — enough said.
In the Old Testament Moses saw a burning bush and turned toward it to see why the fire did not consume the bush. When God saw that Moses turned toward the bush, He (God) called Moses by his name (an indication that God knew exactly who Moses was and all he had done). Then God told Moses of the plan He had to answer the prayers of the children of Israel.
Involved Moses and required that he do exactly as God instructed him in order that the children of Israel be delivered out of the oppression of the Egyptians. Moses resisted God’s plan because he measured his ability to provide their release against the circumstances of the Israelites and what he knew about himself.
Exodus 3:13-14 (KJV) And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
Apparently, God knew His children well enough to believe they would find that answer sufficient. They were asking for release from the bondage of slavery and God’s answer was presented in his name. The most interesting thing about the name Moses was to present to the Israelites is that it is a verb, not a noun!
Remember your grade school grammar lessons? A noun is the name of a person, place or thing. A verb indicates action. In the sentence, “See Spot run!”, Spot is the noun — the name of the dog doing the running; and run is the verb — it describes the action the noun is taking. Isn’t it interesting that God does not send Moses with proof of the person he is representing, but, with a reminder of the action He takes!
I AM. The use of the Hebrew verb, hāyâ, here can be seen to be a declaration of the actual release of power, so that the freedom of God’s children is accomplished. What the Israelites needed was a reminder of the nature of God, not a declaration of His “definite and conspicuous position” in His name, which they knew as elōhîm (Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary).
I believe we will be more effective in our prayer life by applying what can be learned from the story of Moses and the burning bush.
Read Exodus 3.1-15 and remember the following when you pray:
- Moses was going about the business of daily life but took time and effort to go to the mountain of God
- Moses was not too busy to notice the Burning Bush and turned toward it (he became aware of the present activity of God)
- God saw that Moses responded and called to him and reminded Moses of who He, God, was
- God had heard the cry of His people, Israel, and knew their sorrows
- God came down to deliver His children from their bondage
- God spoke to Moses specifically about the part he was to play in the release of the Israelites from bondage
- Moses wondered how and why the Israelites would accept him as the person God would use to bring about their freedom from bondage (he had doubt as to his ability to make a difference)
- God specifically equipped Moses with His name to be used to bring the Israelites out of bondage
- God’s name, I AM, is an action verb, not a mere expression of His ruling position in Heaven
- The message Moses was to give the Children of Israel is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow
And God said moreover unto Moses,
Hebrews 13:8 (KJV) Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
Hebrews 13:8 (KJV) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.