Question:

Is it wrong or scripturally incorrect to refer to God as Jehovah? For instance, when you pray to Him, to address Him as Jehovah.In Matthew 6:9, Jesus is showing the disciples how to pray.He starts with "Our Father in Heaven." SinceJesus never refers to God as Jehovah and when instructingHis disciples how to pray He calls God, Father; would it be wrong for us to do it any different?


Answer:

An argument based on too narrow of an example can be just as false as an argument based on no evidence at all. As an example, I once has someone argue that baptism could not be necessary since it is never mentioned in John. He was wrong, baptism is mentioned in John, but the basis of his argument was also wrong because he created an artificial restriction on where baptism could be justified for no particular purpose.

Yes, Jesus taught disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. So because Jesus didn't mention praying for the sick in this example, does that mean we can't do so? The answer should be obviously false: "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord" (James 5:14). To understand prayer and to understand how God should be addressed, all prayers and all names for God should be examined. "The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever" (Psalm 119:160).

The name Jehovah came into the English language through a mistranslation of the Hebrew word Yahweh. (See "Understanding the Tetragrammaton: Pronouncing YHWH" for details.) Regardless of how the word came to be, the name Jehovah is now an English word for the name of God, just as "God," "Lord," "Father," and "the Almighty" are also words for God.

The importance of addressing a prayer to God is to hallow or given reverence to God's authority. All the names for God do so in the Bible. Each addresses some aspect of His nature. Yahweh, Jehovah, and "I Am" all are reference to God's eternal nature and His right to rule as the one who always exists. God refers to is right to be worshiped. God Almighty refers to His supreme power. Lord God refers to His supreme authority over all creation. Father refers to His relationship and authority over His children. None of God's names degrade His being in any way.

Examples:

"Then King David went in and sat before the LORD; and he said: "Who am I, O Lord GOD? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?"" (II Samuel 7:18).

"Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven; and he said: "LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts" (I Kings 8:21-22).

"Then Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said: "O LORD God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth"" (II Kings 19:15).

"And I said: "O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens"" (Ezra 9:6).

"And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made confession, and said, "O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments" (Daniel 9:4).

"A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth. O LORD, I have heard your speech and was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy" (Habakkuk 3:1-2).

"Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest" (Matthew 9:38).

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"" (Matthew 27:46).

"Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You"" (John 17:1).

"And they prayed and said, "You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen"" (Acts 1:24).

Notice that Jesus did not use "Father" exclusively in his prayers.