From Praying the Names of God Week Four, Day Three
El Olam is the Hebrew name for the God who has no beginning and no end, the God for whom a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day. His plans stand firm forever, plans to give you a future full of hope. When you pray to the Everlasting God, you are praying to the God whose Son is called the Alpha and the Omega. He is the God whose love endures forever.
After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God. (Genesis 21:32-33)
PRAYING THE NAME
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4)
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (Isaiah 40:28-29)
Reflect On: Isaiah 46:4 and 40:28-31
Praise God: For his eternal vitality.
Offer Thanks: That God promises strength for the weary.
Confess: Any tendency to complain of your aches and pains rather than praying about them.
Ask God: To increase your strength and renew your energy.
Imagine donning an outfit that looks like a cross between a jumpsuit and a straightjacket. The material is so stiff around your knees, elbows, ankles, and wrists that it hurts to move your joints. Additional material at the waist makes you feel as though you've gained a tire around your middle. Add gloves and scratched yellow goggles that reduce your sense of touch and sight and you will begin to get an idea of what your body will feel like thirty years hence. At least that's the idea behind The Third Age Suit, a getup worn by mostly thirty-five-year-old and under car designers at Ford Motor Company in an attempt to understand what it feels like to be a senior citizen. Through this method they hope to design more comfortable cars for seniors to drive.
Fortunately the Lord, who made us, has no need to dress up in our skin to understand exactly how aging affects our bodies. This God, who understands what we are going through at every stage of our lives, promises to carry and sustain us even to our old age and gray hairs. He promises to draw from his strength to ease our weakness.
In light of God's faithfulness, it may be that aging is more of a blessing than it seems because the physical decline that accompanies old age can press us toward him, helping us to recognize our limitations, to admit our need. By now any illusion of physical immortality, so easy to believe in when we are young, has been shattered. We begin to perceive our situation more clearly.
Whether you are young or old, take some time to thank God for everything in your body that is working well. Then think about some part of your body or your spirit that needs to be strengthened. Ask God to glorify himself by making you an example of a person who is tangibly strengthened by the Everlasting God, who gives strength to the weary and power to the weak.
Two of Ann Spangler's most-loved books have been released in paperback: Praying the Names of God and Praying the Names of Jesus.
These books help us understand the biblical context in which these names and titles were revealed, and help us gain a more intimate knowledge of the Father and of the Son.