Is any among you suffering? They should pray.
James 5:13 (NRSV)
There is no other name in all of
heaven for people to call on to save them.”
Acts 4: 12b
“Those who know Your name
will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9: 10
“I will give thanks
to Your name for Your unfailing love and faithfulness, because Your
promises are backed by all the honor of Your name.” Psalm 138: 1 – 2
“And whatever you do,
in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving
thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Colossians 3: 17
So, what’s in a name? Turns out, quite a lot as God sees it! The third of God’s Ten Commandments cautions
strongly, “You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain…” Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Father, hallowed
be Your name….” As believers, we are a
people who are called by God’s name, according to His purpose. We are joined to Him in Christ, worshipping,
praising, praying, serving, in the name of His Son, Jesus. When we pray, His names are to be used with
reverence, as a great privilege offered to His beloved children, with boldness,
with gratitude, with love. With this in
mind, I began some research on Scriptural references to God’s names, God’s
naming or re-naming of people, the active nature of His names, and the lessons
provided in Scripture for praying and worshipping with God’s names. It became very apparent to me that names are
important to God -- not only His own names and those of His key servants, but
ours as well!
God actually has more than a few names, as
given to us in Scripture. There are
entire books written about His names, and some specifically devoted to the
importance of praying using God’s different names. Jehovah Rapha, “the Lord Heals,” is
one. Scripture attests that God’s names
have immense power; they carry all the authority of the Creator God; they are
imbued with majesty, holiness, glory, dominion.
When God called Moses to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt, God
gave Moses the name that would command obedience from the Israelites – the
ultimate answer to “who sent you?” God
said, tell them, “I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS.
Just tell them I AM has sent me to you.” Exodus 3: 14 To the Hebrews, God’s sacred name was so
holy that it was never to be pronounced or written out fully.
God gave His only Son the name, “Jesus”, and
with it, great honor, power, authority, and glory. “….God raised Him up to the heights of heaven
and gave Him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of
Jesus, every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and
every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the
Father.” Philippians 2: 9 – 11 As prophesied by Isaiah, the coming Savior
was to be called “Immanuel – God with us.”
The opening verses of the Gospel of John tell us more about the Son’s
name: “In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… All things were made through
Him…” The name of Jesus heals; the name
of Jesus saves; the name of Jesus is “sharper than a two-edged sword.”
began in the Garden of Eden. In the
first chapter of Genesis, God calls His human creation, “man” which later
appears as “Adam.” However, God gives to
this man the privilege of naming all of God’s other creatures, including the
“woman” God created as his companion!
God re-named His righteous servant, Abram, and his wife, Sarai. God named the son of this favored couple,
“Isaac.” God re-named Jacob, “Israel,”
the father of the 12 tribes of God’s people from whom King David, and
eventually, Jesus, would be descended.
God named John, Jesus’ cousin, who would be great among men, and who
would prepare the way for His Son’s ministry on earth. Jesus, Himself, did some re-naming. His disciple, Simon, would be called “Peter,”
which means “stone or rock,” that is the “rock” on which He would build His
church. Jesus also re-named Saul, the
Pharisee and aggressive persecutor of Christians, when Jesus called him to be
His witness to the Gentiles. Paul was to
become the most influential figure in the history of the Christian church,
except for the Lord Jesus Himself.
The names of the heroes of our faith are not
the only ones of importance to God.
Scripture tells us that each of us has a name that God knows. We are created in His image; and, as
believers, we are made heirs with Christ of His eternal promise. God calls us His “Beloved.” The Lord said, “I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on My hand.” Is
49: 15b “And even the very hairs on your
head are all numbered.” Mt 10: 30 When
we pray to our Father in heaven, we are praying to our Creator who knit us
together in our mother’s womb, saw to it that we were wondrously made, and
loves us with an unfailing love. He
loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins. Through Jesus’ sacrifice
on the Cross, we are offered a place with Him in glory, for all eternity. We have only to call on Jesus’ name with a
surrendered, repentant heart.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, To Your Name, we lift up all
praise. To Your Name is all glory. As Your obedient children, we willingly
surrender to Your Lordship in our lives.
We ask Your forgiveness for our sins, and we give You our gratitude for
the many blessings we enjoy today. In
Jesus’ holy name, we pray. Amen
By Meredith Fichtel
Do you have a prayer request?
You can e-mail it to
Prayer Request Cards can also be found in the pew card holders.
Prayer requests will be prayed for daily by our Prayer Team.
All prayer requests are held in confidence unless you specify otherwise.
Please join us at our James 5:13 Prayer Gathering every Thursday night at 7 PM in the CUMC chapel. This is open to all and you do not need to be a church member to be lifted up in prayer.
Available from the stands at both ends of the main hallway. Take one home if you need one!
If you have not
signed up to participate in Prayer Partners, and would like to, please contact Meredith Fichtel for more information.
BECOME A PRAYER PARTNER
“Prayer is the center of Christian life. It is the only necessary thing. (Luke 10:42) It is living with God here and now.” ~ Henri Nouwen, Prayer and Peacemaking
Jesus said, “And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in My name, I am there with them.”
Matthew 18: 19 – 20
WHAT IS PRAYER PARTNERS?
Prayer Partners is a team that was formed in our church several years ago to provide encouragement, support, accountability, and faith-building within two-person groups. With the guidance of Pastor Roy and lay prayer leaders, participants will be paired with a prayer partner of the same gender.
WHAT WILL PRAYER PARTNERS DO?
Partners get together regularly to pray for one another, for others, and for whatever is weighing on their hearts. They share their joys, their trials, their faith journeys, their struggles in a covenant relationship of Christ-like love, compassion, honesty and trust. Prayer partners are secure in the confidentiality of their relationship. They often make gratitude to God a focus of their time together. Learning how to listen to one another and how to become attuned to the voice of God speaking to their hearts are important skills that prayer-partnering helps to develop. Also, there is real power in praying together!
WHY DO I NEED A PRAYER PARTNER?
You might think, “I have close family and several friends I can talk to, why do I need someone else to pray with?” Your prayer partner will, hopefully, be someone who knows you less well than a family member or good friend, and can be more objective, non-judgmental, and can share in your mutual growth in faith. Praying gets God involved in our lives in a very personal way. Scripture affirms that when two or more are gathered in His name, God is there with them. God wants to share our joys, bear our burdens, and be in communion with us through prayer. With a mutually-sustaining and caring prayer partner, you will find that you are growing closer to God, and gaining greater insight into the person God made you to be, through the regular, intentional practice of prayer.
Centerport United Methodist Church is a welcoming, family-friendly worshipping community. In addition to worship services, we offer spiritual formation and christian education for children, youth and adults. We have an active and growing Sunday School and youth group. There are multiple and varied opportunities to live out your faith in the local community and the world. Our members currently come from Centerport, Greenlawn, Huntington, Northport, East Northport, Cold Spring Harbor, Smithtown, Syosset, Fort Salonga and Kings Park.
Centerport United Methodist Church • 97 Little Neck Road • Centerport, NY 11721 • 631.261.5222