There is a theatrical superstition that speaking the name Macbeth inside a theatre will cause a disaster. In the Harry Potter books, saying Voldemort’s name was taboo; anyone who uttered his name became traceable to others, including enemies. Knowing someone’s name was once seen as having power over them.
Names have power and also meaning. Jesus asks the demoniac’s name, “My name is Legion; for we are many,” (Mark 5:9) and renames Simon to Peter (“Rocky” in Greek-John 1:42). God names the first man Adam (“Earth/Clay” in Hebrew) and first woman Eve (“Life” in Hebrew).
In the psalm today, we see a style of Hebrew poetry which is not measured in syllables or rhyming words, but in ideas, thought poems, where the next line expands, completes, embellishes, refutes, contrasts or simply echoes the previous line for emphasis.
These psalms make good prayers.
Lord, what would have happened if you were not on my side? My enemies, anger, floods and raging waters would have overpowered me. You have saved me, set me free, let me escape. I trust that your name is powerful; powerful enough to create everything. Amen. — SJ