Home > Devotionals, Personal > One Person – Many Names

One Person – Many Names

Name 1My husband’s name is James. When we’re out together with friends, I call him James. When the two of us are alone in the house, I call him James, as in, “James, could you take out the garbage?”

However, the way I address my husband changes when my daughter comes over. To my daughter, James is Dad, so when I refer to him in her presence, I call him Dad, as in, “Will you see if Dad is ready to take out the garbage?”

The grandkids call my husband Papaw, so, whenever they’re around, I identify him as Papaw, as in, “Tell Papaw the garbage is ready to be taken out.”

If we’re all in the same room together, carrying on various threads of conversation, I’ll sometimes have to run through several names before settling on the appropriate one. It becomes even more confusing when my own father is present, because he has his own set of names, Dad, G-paw and Papaw.

Although not quite the same, something similar occurs on a spiritual level. God can be addressed as Father, Jesus, or Holy Spirit.

Jesus, who is our model for having an intimate conversation with God, used “Father” in every recorded prayer, except for one. Father is the name most believers use today when speaking directly to God. When we call God our Father, we are acknowledging a special  relationship with the one who gives us life, who provides our needs, and who loves us as His children.

I am  incredibly blessed and privileged to call the God of the Universe my Father.

Even though the Father is the Head of the Trinity and the one we most often call upon when we pray, we are also encouraged to address our petitions to Jesus. Jesus Himself said, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:12. Our petitions can be directed toward Jesus as well as to our Father, and we see both Paul and John praying in this way. (2 Corinthians 12:8; Revelation 22:20).

Because our access to the Father and to Jesus comes through the Spirit, there is a sense in which every time we pray to any member of the Godhead, we are calling on the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:18; Romans 8:26).

Like my earthly relationship with my husband, I often address God according to my circumstances. Most of the time, I cry out to Him as my Father. However, situations arise when I can only relate to Him as Jesus—my Savior, my Lord, my Shepherd. When I desire to be filled with His presence, I call out to His Spirit to fill me.

Regardless of how I choose to address my husband, it doesn’t change my relationship with him. The same is true with God. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12. No matter how we address God, as born-again believers, we are always and forever His children.

  1. Anonymous
    May 1, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I love your article. Our Heavenly Father always hears us when we call out to him. He knows the names his children call him and our voice and the tone in how we use it. I am so thankful He is never too busy to listen to me.


  2. Anonymous
    May 1, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks for your insightful comment. I’m glad too!


  3. May 16, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I always enjoy your blog. It uplifts me every time I read it.


    • May 17, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Thank you, Michelle. Your comments blessed me. I’ve recently added a new post. Hope you enjoy it as well.


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