What Is Calling on the Name of the Lord?


In this post we’ll discuss a practice by God’s people seen throughout the entire Bible: the practice of calling on the name of the Lord. Let’s see what it is to call on the name of the Lord and how this practice can benefit us.

Calling on the name of the Lord means out loud

All Christians have at some point prayed to God. God hears these prayers, whether they’re silent, quiet, or loud. But the practice of calling, which is a form of praying, is definitely audible. In the Bible, the Hebrew word for call means to call out to, to cry unto, and the Greek word means to invoke a person, to call a person by name.

For example, when a little boy falls off a swing, he immediately cries out loud, “Mommy!” His mother hears and runs to him, wipes away his tears, and soothes him. Children cry out to their mothers when they’re hungry, tired, or scared. They cry because they’re helpless and they need to be cared for.

Similarly, by crying out to the Lord, we’re saying we’re hungry for Him, we need Him, and we can’t make it without Him.

How calling on the Lord began

When did people begin to practice audibly calling on the name of the Lord?

It might surprise you to know that Genesis 4:26 tells us the practice of calling on the Lord began long ago—by the third generation of mankind when Adam’s grandson Enosh was born:

“And to Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time men began to call upon the name of Jehovah.”

But why did people begin to do this?

The meaning of the name Enosh gives us a clue. It means frail, mortal man. Because of mankind’s fall, man was frail and without God, the meaning of his existence. From the time of Enosh, men realized both the emptiness and vanity of life apart from God as well as their own fragility and mortality.

So they began to call upon the name of Jehovah, the Hebrew word for Lord. The meaning of the name Jehovah is I am that I am. He is the eternal God, the unique One who is. Everything and everyone else is not. Frail, mortal human beings realized they needed the eternal God.

Humanity’s condition is the same today as it was in Enosh’s time. We’re still frail and mortal, and life is often confusing, full of turmoil, and even overwhelming to us. We’re limited physically and psychologically. We need the eternal God.

Let’s look at the benefits we receive when we call on the name of the Lord.

We’re saved

In the New Testament, the name of the Lord is Jesus. Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

When we believe and call on the name of the Lord Jesus, confessing Him with our mouth, we’re saved eternally from God’s judgment; we’re forgiven, justified in Christ, and born again with the divine life of God.

But that first time we call upon the name of Jesus to receive God’s salvation is just the beginning. After our initial salvation, by calling on Jesus we can continue to enjoy our full salvation in Christ. This includes daily salvation from many negative things, such as anger, depression, impatience, sadness, discouragement, and anxiety, to name a few.

How can calling on the Lord save us from these things? When we call, “Oh, Lord Jesus!” we’re not shouting random, meaningless words. That would be akin to yelling out words to relieve stress, as some do during a workout. Yelling unintelligible sounds or even inspiring words might release endorphins and temporarily make us feel better, but it doesn’t get to the root of our problems.

By calling on the Lord’s dear name, we contact the Lord who is dwelling in our spirit as the life-giving Spirit. And when we call on Jesus, He saves us by imparting more of His divine life into us.

We enjoy the riches of Christ

Romans 10:12 says the Lord of all is “rich to all who call upon Him.” Christ wants us to enjoy His riches in our daily lives.

Christ is rich to us when we call upon Him. He is rich to us as comfort, peace, love, hope, patience, kindness, endurance, longsuffering, strength, faith, and more—what riches are in His name!

A life-long practice

The practice of calling upon the Lord as revealed in the Bible isn’t to say the Lord’s name as a lifeless ritual. It is our calling on the One we love, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

Wherever we are and at any time, whether we call loudly or softly, just like a child get’s the mother he calls out to, we get our living Lord. The Lord Jesus is always available—He’s just a call away!

Calling upon the Lord Jesus is like drawing refreshing water from a deep well that never runs dry. We receive Him as a fresh, satisfying supply. Our human spirit yearns for the pure riches we receive when we call on the Lord’s precious name.

John Newton, author of the well-known hymn “Amazing Grace,” was a person who enjoyed the riches in the name of Jesus. In another of his hymns, he speaks of his experience:

“How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!

It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.”

(You can read the rest of this hymn and hear the tune here.)

We love hearing from you, so please share your thoughts and experiences related to the post (blog commenting guidelines).

22 thoughts on “What Is Calling on the Name of the Lord?

  1. What a beautiful message to start off my day. I have called upon the name of the Lord regularly, not as a trained habit, but as a natural need. Everyone thought I was nuts, lol, its great to know that its a great thing to do!!

    1. appeler le nom du Seigneur est bon . J’encourage a le faire régulièrement, le plus souvent possible.
      call the name of the Lord is good. I encourage to do so regularly, as often as possible.

  2. Our calling on the name of Jesus should be like breathing………..”a spontaneous life or death experience” !

    At the name of Jesus….every knee shall bow.

  3. I enjoy calling on the Lord Jesus’ name because, give me energy, make me happy, and save me from many thoughts and feelings, when I am stress or worry or do not know what to do, I just call Oh Lord Jesus and my day change!

  4. When I first called on the Lord, I felt like I changed from a spectator to a participant. I was no longer talking about Jesus–I was contacting and enjoying Him! He is still so real and rich today, every time I call on Him I enjoy Him as my rich supply.

  5. “How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
    In a believer’s ear!
    It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds,
    And drives away his fear.”

  6. My first calling was to be saved for darkness and later i have calling to preach and stil I am weating those moment when the door is open to enter in to be used of the Lord in the HOly Spirits power nd wisdom and and be blessing and help to the people in sin and in sickness,thanks and bless and pray for me,keijo sweden

  7. When I read the message it let me know where all my strength come from, all I have to do is call on the name of Jesus!

  8. Calling on the the name of the Lord is the only way of escaping the influences of this world’s systems for the devil himself knows he can’t successfully stand against that Name

  9. If saints would fight for their spiritual rights as they do for their human’s rights, God’s Word in their mouth would produce the same results Jesus did in accordance with John 14:12

  10. There is no substitution, no self rejection, no sanctity, no Zen, despite who you are, what you have, or have lost, No one comes to the father, without his son. When you truly surrender to the Love that Jesus has four us, something unexplainable occurs, it brings tears, relief, that’s the power of Christ

  11. This message never gets old!! I love calling on the Lord’s name! Calling on His name has kept me, strengthened me and refreshed me for 40 years! Christians need to know this simple yet sweet way to contact the Lord and be one with Him. Praise the Lord for His awesome name!

  12. I’m a new parent so I can relate to the example of the child calling out for his mother. It’s so wonderful to hear that we can experience the same sort of comfort and care when we call on the Lord’s name. He comes to us within and supplies us with Himself, providing us with exactly what we need.

  13. I was involved in a couple of very dangerous situations. When I cried out “JESUS”, He saved me from drowning in a fast moving river,and another time He saved a young man who rode his bike through a red light and ran into my car. Because I shouted out “Jesus” He kept that man from being hurt, and gave me such pease in what might have been a tragedy.

  14. Just learning these things, definitely enjoying His Divine Presence in my morning meditation, thanks much for free recovery version……

  15. I had a really tough time going through my uni exams. I stressed out, I was sick, my room lights were spoilt so it was always dark, but my parents’ prayers kept me through,I felt inexplicable peace before my exams. Even now after it’s over, my health has not fully recovered and I’m a bit depressed because my parents are really worried about my health when we’re going on a vacation soon…and somehow I’m just tired of everything. I used to think calling His Name audibly or not didn’t make a difference.I shall practise calling on His Name more often. Thanks for the inspiration.

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