Week Three, Day Two
God revealed himself as El Shadday, God Almighty, to Abram and told him of the everlasting covenant he was establishing with him and with his descendants. Until the time of Moses, when another divine name was revealed, the patriarchs considered El Shadday the covenant name of God. When we pray to El Shadday, we invoke the name of the one for whom nothing is impossible.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers." (Genesis 17:1-2)
PRAYING THE NAME
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said,"I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers....Abraham fell facedown;he laughed and said to himself,"Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old?" (Genesis 17:1-2, 17)
Reflect On: Genesis 17:1-8, 15-17
Praise God: Because no matter how tough life is, no power in heaven or earth can thwart his plan for us as long as we follow him.
Offer Thanks: That God has made an everlasting covenant with us.
Confess: Any doubts about God's ability or desire to help you.
Ask God: For the faith to believe that he can show his strength in you and for you when you are at your weakest.
Sometimes it's easier to believe in God's power on a grand scale—creating the universe, sustaining it through time, reigning over the centuries—than it is to believe in his power to keep one simple promise. Abraham's life and legacy offer a study in God's promise-keeping ability. But what about promises he makes to us, like the one about helping us in times of temptation? One of the most challenging verses in all of Scripture for many of us to believe is not the one about creation, the virgin birth, or the resurrection. It's the one that says: "And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).
What does that mean when you're tempted to scream at a perpetually difficult child, to despair when facing a life-altering illness, to sleep with your boyfriend, or to have an affair because your marriage seems so desperately lonely? Doesn't it mean turning, not to yourself to solve the problem (as if you could), but turning in faith to an all-powerful, almighty God, the only one able to help you find the way out? The next time you feel tempted beyond your power to resist, call on the name of El Shadday, asking him to help you bear up under it, confident of his ability to sustain and bless you.
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.