A Prayer about the Names by Which We Live
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. Rev. 2:17
Dear Lord Jesus, who’d have thought that a quick run to the supermarket would result in a painful study in “naming”? I’m sure that little boy who was straining for his favorite box of cereal has another name than “So Much Trouble” and “Such a Bother.”
I hope the husband, who shared the paper goods aisle with me, calls his wife other things than “Slow,” “Indecisive,” and “Wasteful.” We live and die by the names we are given; and we harm or heal by the names we give one another.
Lord Jesus, your name is the name that is above every name. It’s by your name, and by everything your name signifies, that I’m forgiven and have been declared righteous in the sight of God. By your name I’m being healed of every disease and am being set free from every bondage. By your name I’m being made whole and am being fitted for life in the kingdom.
And it’s at your name, Jesus, that one day I will gladly bow my knees with everyone in heaven and on earth and under the earth (Phil. 2:9-11). It’s only because you overcame sin and death for me that I call myself an “overcomer.” It’s only because you drank the cup of my judgment that I will feast on the “hidden manna” of eternity. From beginning to end, every good thing I receive in this life, and the life to come, comes to me by your grace.
Lord Jesus, it’s only because you are renaming me in the gospel that I’m being delivered from every wrong, cruel, damaging name I’ve ever received or have given myself. Likewise, it’s only through the power, grace, and glory of your name that I’m learning to be so very careful what I call, label, and name others.
Whether or not there’s literally a new name you’ll give me in heaven, I don’t know. That today you call me “beloved” is enough for now and eternity. So very Amen I pray, in your merciful and matchless name.