Praying the Names of God - June 28
From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Two, Day Three
An Egyptian slave, Hagar encountered God in the desert and addressed him as El Roi, "the God who sees me." Notably, this is the only occurrence of El Roi in the Bible.
Hagar's God is the One who numbers the hairs on our heads and who knows our circumstances, past, present, and future. When you pray to El Roi, you are praying to the one who knows everything about you.
She [Hagar] gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi [the"well of the Living One who sees me"]. (Genesis 16:13-14)
PRAYING THE NAME
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her,"What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation."
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. (Genesis 21:17-19)
Reflect On: Genesis 21:1-21
Praise God: For faithfully hearing your prayers.
Offer Thanks: For God's timely help.
Confess: Your disbelief despite the evidence of God's past faithfulness.
Ask God: To hear your cries for help.
Ishmael slumped beneath a bush, hoping for relief from the desert sun. He felt feverish, dizzied by the heat. Hagar had watched him drink the last of the water, greedily sucking at the empty skin. His face was flushed, his speech was blurred. It wouldn't be long, she thought, until the boy was past helping. And what of it? She could do nothing for him.
Unable to bear her helplessness in the face of his anguish, she sat down several yards away and began rocking back and forth, wailing out her grief. The angel of the Lord had named him Ishmael, meaning "God hears." But now the name seemed to mock her. Was God deaf, unable to keep his promise? Or cruel? Was he simply unwilling to listen to her cries for help? She would not allow herself to think so.
In the midst of her despair Hagar suddenly heard a voice calling: "Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying. Lift him up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation." Then God opened Hagar's eyes and she saw the thing she dreamed of—a well full of water.
Many years later, the psalmist echoed words that must surely have been on Hagar's mind during her ordeal: "I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God" (Psalm 69:3).
The promise God had made to Hagar and Ishmael so many years before stretched itself thin during their time of trial, but never so thin as to break, for God upheld the word he had spoken years before. Remember this when you fail for a time to find God's help or to receive answers to your prayers. Ask El Roi, the God who sees you, to open your eyes to his work and to increase your faith even and especially when his promises seem impossible to fulfill.
For more from Ann Spangler, please visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. And be sure to check out Ann's newest books on AnnSpangler.com. To hear more from Ann Spangler, sign up today at annspangler.substack.com.
Meet your spiritual ancestors as they really were: Less Than Perfect: Broken Men and Women of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them.