maybe God doesn’t answer prayer because we still haven’t got his name right

"Wrong Name" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Wrong Name” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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I do remember going through a stage of wondering if I wasn’t pronouncing God’s name right, or if I even had his name right in the first place. Was it YHWH or Yahweh or Jehovah or… too holy to pronounce so we say, “Blessed be his name”?

Then studying the original languages and realizing that Jesus probably wouldn’t respond to “Geez-us” because it would have been pronounced “Yay-zus” or even “Yeshua” or something.

Then I remembered the demons who attacked people pretending to be like Jesus or Paul. But they just used the name as a magic potion so they were punished for it. You weren’t allowed to use the name for your own purposes I guess. You weren’t allowed to use it to help yourself.

Or Jesus telling people on the last day they never knew him even though they knew his name. So it didn’t even matter if you knew the right name and even knew how to pronounce it. You had to be in the inner circle too. It didn’t count that you knew him. He had to know you!

Then talking with other people of other religions describing their god and I would be thinking, “Geez, sounds an awful lot like my god!”

Man, I was confused.

Was.

(Come join us at The Lasting Supper where you can deconstruct this kind of stuff among friends! Check us out!)

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2 Responses

  1. Ducatihero says:

    Your cartoon was brilliant David with all the different names – it gave me a huge laugh – thanks 🙂

    Yes I see perfectly how it could appear to be an awful lot by thinking you had to be in the “inner circle” and that he had to know you.

    Of course what was being referred to with demons attacking people was with these people using the name Jesus for personal gain, financial reward, to lord it over others. against such greed they had little defense against demons. That’s a little different to using the name Jesus to attend to your legitimate needs and to serve others including casting out demons in others through prayer.

    Having to know you is ocf course an allusion to the sheep and the goats. The sheep being those who visited people in hospital an prison, did things for the least of others and had to be reminded by Jesus of when they had done with him welcoming them. The goats going to Jesus boasting about what they had done in his name but there being no relationship with Jesus and him sending them away.

    Not quite sure how you got to the conclusion of guessing that you weren’t allowed to use the name Jesus for yourself. I think the apostle Paul would see that differently with what he said about achieving ll things through Christ?

    I would have thought these things to be a comfort to anyone who just goes about their daily lives serving others without recognition and seeing others. I would have though it a warning to any in the “inner circle” receiving all kinds of accolades – status, power, money etc. having a form of godliness but no real power and it masking arrogance.

  2. Yasmin says:

    With a name like mine, I can guarantee that waiting for someone to get your name right before answering leaves you silent for VERY long periods of time. Sheesh! I’ve had this discussion with Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose religion insists that God won’t answer prayer, may even disown you, if you do not address Him as “Jehovah.” I have pointed out that “Jehovah” is a mistranslation dating back to about the 14th or 15th century, and that the “J” sound doesn’t even exist in Hebrew, so “Jehovah” cannot be God’s name. They fall silent after that, having no answer. I also point out that when people address me as “Jazzmin” instead of “Yasmin,” that I am NOT flattered or pleased, but just let it go with some irritation. God has greater patience than I do, but I can’t believe He LIKES it any better than I do.

    In Sunday school, when I was quite young, we were taught that God created us with free will so that He’d have those who loved Him because they CHOSE to, not because they were required to. That has always made sense to me, and I firmly believe that if I addressed God as “Joe,” He’d be perfectly fine with that. No, God is not waiting for us to get His name right (since we have no idea what it is in the first place). Whatever name we use respectfully and/or lovingly is perfectly fine with Him, at least in my opinion.

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