Thursday, March 25, 2010

What should I call God in prayer?

Question from Edmond:

Brother Bob...I was just recently doing some research into just what the significance of baal worship is into the old testament when I came across Hosea 2:16-17. It reads:
"In that day," declares the LORD,
"you will call me 'my husband';
you will no longer call me 'my master' (or baal in Hebrew)....
I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
no longer will their names be invoked."

My question is: Does God dislike it when we refer to him as "God" and "Lord" and "Master"? B/c that's how I usually do it. I always call Him Lord in prayer and when I am speaking to Him. Should I stop and adopt a more...equal word, like say Father? What are your thoughts? It seems contradict the New Testament usage...

Answer from Pastor Bob:

The context of Hosea 2 is that Israel was unfaithful to the Lord their God and the Israelites were following after other gods, like Baal. Hosea the prophet had this illustrated this in his own marriage, as his wife Gomer was unfaithful to him. So this was a pun on the name "Baal" because the word "baal" had a double meaning, as the word meant "master" and could be used by a wife to refer to her husband and could also be used as the name of the pagan Canaanite god. God considered Israel to be unfaithful to Him the way an adulterous wife is unfaithful to her husband. Thus the main point of Hosea 2:16-17 is that God was saying he wanted Israel's complete loyalty.
A similar analogy to Hosea 2:16-17 would be if an Arabic-speaking Muslim became a Christian. The word for "God" in Arabic is allah. However, Allah is used by Muslims for their God, and so the Arabic-speaking Christian might prefer to use another term, such as "Lord," to avoid sounding like he is still worshiping the God of Islam.
Regarding what you and I should call God in prayer, Jesus taught us in the Lord's Prayer to call Him "Father." He is also addressed as "Lord," "Master" and "God" in many passages. Any of these terms are appropriate for the Christian to pray. The key is that we address God with respect and love.


  1. When you say " He is also addressed as "Lord," "Master" and "God" in many passages", was that really in the word? Where does it say we are supposed to say those names/titles? I haven't read that anywhere in the bible. When he's addressed with those names/ titles, are those bad translations?
    Father is okay cause his son used it, but the other titles are not his name. Aren't names the main way we can identify whom we are worshipping?

  2. I call him YHWH, I AM, because i am. YHWH is my creator , my Equal partner who rules heaven qand all the universe, i am in him as he is in me. When i was seperated from him, i feared him and called him lord God, but so are all idols called. Jesus came with that teaching in John 17 ;21. satan declared himself above all that is called YHWH. to bow the knee means i put myself below, not YHWH, but satan . 2 Thess 2 ;3,4.