All Posts /

The Name

The Name

Editor’s note: Come face-to-Face with the God of Scripture. Ann Spangler’s book Praying the Names of God for 52 Weeks is a deep dive into the names of God to connect with Him in a profound way. Enjoy this excerpt.


HASHEM ַה ֵשֵּׁם

Shem is the Hebrew word for “name” (the “Ha” before it is the definite article, “the”). The Bible speaks of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem as the place where God’s name would dwell — the place where His people could pray and be heard. Jesus Himself prayed that the Father would glorify His name through Him. He also promised to do whatever we ask in His name. Philippians 2:9–10 (NIV) affirms that God has exalted Jesus and given Him “the name that is above every name.”


Nevertheless, my Yahweh Elohim, please pay attention to my prayer for mercy.


Listen to my cry for help as I pray to You today.
29 Night and day may Your eyes be on this temple,
the place about which You said, ‘My name will be there.’
Listen to me as I pray toward this place.
1 Kings 8:28–29


Open your personal Bible translation and read the same passage. Make note where God speaks about His name in response to Solomon.




16 But those who curse Yahweh’s name must whether they are Israelites or foreigners. be put to death. The whole congregation must Whoever curses Ha-shem must die.

ַה ֵשֵּׁם

Understanding the Name

God’s name is associated with His glory, power, holiness, protection, trust, and love. To call on His name is to call on His presence. To act in His name is to act with His authority. To fight in His name is to fight with His power. To pray to His name is to pray to Him. In fact, the very first mention of prayer in the Bible appears in Genesis 4:26:

At that time people began to invoke the name of the Lord. — NIV

Though we are to exalt God’s name and proclaim it to the nations, it is also possible to dishonor it, which is the same as dishonoring Him.

  • God’s name is His reputation.

Though God’s name is holy and powerful, it cannot be invoked as a magic formula. Rather, His name becomes powerful whenever it is uttered by men and women who are exercising their faith in God.

Jesus taught His own disciples to pray by saying,

Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Matthew 6:9 KJV

In John’s gospel, Jesus prays to His Father, saying,

I have manifested Thy name to the men which Thou gavest me


I made known to them Thy name, and I will make it known. John 17:6, 26 KJV

When we pray to Hashem (ha-SHAME), we are praying to the holy God who dwells in our midst, hearing and answering our prayers.

Connecting to the Name

  1. What does it mean to confess God’s name? What is the connection between repentance and answered prayer?
  2. Why do you think Solomon prayed that God would hear the prayers of foreigners when they prayed toward the temple?
  3. How can Solomon’s great prayer at the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem inform your prayers today?
  4. What does God mean when He says He will put His “Name” in the temple?
  5. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). Because the Spirit of God dwells in you, you can call upon His name at any time and in every need. What needs would you like to bring to Hashem right now?

Praying a Passage with God’s Name

Thank God that we can experience victory over everything that threatens our souls. Focus on Hashem, the Name, as you read Psalm 20:7–8, taking a few moments to boast of His power and faithfulness.

7 Some rely on chariots and others on horses
but we will boast in the name of Yahweh, our Elohim.

8 They will sink to their knees and fall, but we will rise and stand firm.


Look up and read: Exodus 20:7

Humble yourself before God, and ask Him to show you if you have ever take His name in vain. Keep in mind that it is possible to take His name in vain without ever resorting to profanity through hypocritical behavior, perjury, or falsely representing God’s words or character.

Promises from Hashem

Turn toward me, and have pity on me as You have pledged to do for those who love Your name. Psalm 119:132

Because you love Me, I will rescue you.
I will protect you because you know My name.

15 When you call to Me, I will answer you.
I will be with you when you are in trouble. I will save you and honor you.
Psalm 91:14–15


Read the following passages, considering the name HASHEM and how its meaning relates to the context of the passage.


Psalms 61:8; 115:1; 119:55; 124:8
Isaiah 50:10–11
Acts 4:12
Ephesians 4:17

Excerpted with permission from Praying the Names of God for 52 Weeks by Ann Spangler, copyright Ann Spangler.

* * *

Your Turn

Today, pray to the Name above all names, our Savior Jesus. To call upon His name is to invite His presence. Come share your thoughts with us about Hashem. We want to hear from you!