Many namesWhen our women’s circle met last week, I wasn’t quite prepared for the tiny tantrum thrown by one of our members about that night’s lesson.  “You’re going to hear from me.  She started with that pray and it isn’t even to Jesus or God.  It makes me throw up in my mouth when I hear that.”*

I read the prayer, but I didn’t remember being offended.  Admittedly, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to what I call God in prayer.  Even through all my whining and informal prayers, I tend to call him Holy Father or Heavenly Father.  I cringe when someone calls him Daddy God. It just seems so . . . hippy dippy. Hint: As contemporary as I can be, hippy dippy is not a compliment.

Still, I know that when they pray, not everyone calls God the same thing that I do.  They pray to:

  • Adonai
  • Ruler of the Universe
  • Lover of Justice
  • Elohim
  • Jehovah
  • El
  • Theos
  • Our Creator
  • Lord of Might
  • Our Comforter
  • Ancient of Days
  • King of Kings
  • Lord of Hosts

What was the name of God that opened the prayer?  Holy One.

The reality is that not everyone calls God the same thing.  The name that they use depends on where they grew up, when they grew up and their circumstances.  A woman who had an abusive father, might not be comfortable calling our loving God, Father.  Someone who works in education might prefer Teacher, as Christ was called by his disciples.

And does it really matter what those around us call him?  The important thing is that they talk to Him, they spend time with Him, the hear Him.  Instead of being judgmental, we might ask them why they use the name that they do and then listen and hear their answer.