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The 21 Memorable Attributes of God You Should Know
Have you tried praying the attributes of God? Perhaps you have wondered why there are different names for God. Praying the attributes of God can drastically change the way you relate to the LORD.
When we discuss the attributes of God, there are specific questions we are trying to answer. We are looking to understand the nature of God – who He is, what He likes and dislikes, and how He interacts with His people. These are essentially personality traits that are true to Him.
The names of God were created to describe different interactions that people had with God. Each name designates a difference in the relationship. Every name of God reflects a different attribute of God. However, we have the means to know God in all His names through the Bible.
God makes Himself known to us through His Word, His relationships with us, and His creation. Our Father is amazingly unique, and despite our best efforts, our words cannot come close to describing Him.
By understanding the attributes of God, you can gain insight into God’s nature and begin to look for ways to get to know Him intimately.
God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.” – Exodus 3:14 (NIV)
What Is In A Name?
Do you have names for the people in your neighborhood you don’t know, or is that just my family? You know what I mean, like the guy with the red truck, the woman with the pretty roses, and the family with the loud dog.
We do this not out of disrespect but simply because we do not know the person. How often does this happen in real life?
You may introduce yourself to your clients or audience with a more proper name. This could be the name you were given at birth. To family and friends, you might have a shortened name or nickname. You might be known as Mom, Dad, friend, or confidant.
Your clients do not know you by your nickname, and your children do not know you as a spouse. There are sides to the very nature of who you are – something only known by certain people.
Why Should I Pray the Attributes of God?
James Montgomery Boice wrote, “The names of God are the windows through which His character is seen.”
As we come to know God more intimately through His attributes, we come to trust Him more. When we know God as Yahweh-Jireh (The LORD will Provide), we trust Him to provide us with our needs.
If God reveals Himself as El Roi (The LORD that sees), we become ultimately aware of His knowledge of us! We are strengthened by calling out the name Yahweh-Nissi, knowing God goes before us as our banner!
As we gain a deeper understanding of God, we begin to trust Him infinitely. We actually trust God more and more as we seek Him out at all times, good and bad!
Daniel 11:32b tells us, “but the people that do know God shall be strong, and do exploits.” We are the living image of God. We are graced with the attributes of God. As we come to know God in these characteristics, we can live out the fulfillment of His Word.
Each name is a full manifestation of God.
The Different Attributes of God
There are over 100 individual names for God in the Bible. Each name reveals an attribute or characteristic of God’s nature. However, God is quite simply incomprehensible to humans.
To say this does not mean we cannot know God or come to know Him. It simply means that we, as human beings, can never know Him in His entirety.
Our relationship with God is about revelation. Every step of the way, God reveals Himself to us, and He does this through experiences and names. Through the attributes of God, we can grow spiritually.
Each name denoted in the Bible is given at a time or place in which a specific attribute of God’s nature was revealed to the person involved. Therefore the names given are not man-made but rather of divine origin.
The names are a part of the whole and are given to us for use during critical and crucial moments of our lives.
You can read Genesis 22, a well-known Bible story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham followed God’s instructions and was about to sacrifice his only son, the son God promised to him. God halted Abraham’s actions in the moment of sacrifice and provided a ram caught in the bush for the offering. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Jireh, meaning the Lord that Provides.
As we come to situations where we need specific guidance, we can call upon the names or attributes of God to uplift us and bring us much-needed support.
#1. God is Infinite.
Infinite means God always has been and always will be. Nothing created God. He just is. This is the hardest attribute for most Christians to understand and accept. This attribute means that God just is. “I AM” is translated from Yahweh.
He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together. – Colossians 1:17 (NIV)
#2. God is Self-Sufficient.
God needs nothing from anyone. He is complete in Himself. This is what makes the fact that He desires our companionship so amazing. It also means we can go to Him for all our needs.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. – Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)
#3. God is Omniscient.
Omniscient means all-knowing. He knows everything that has happened, and He knows everything that will happen. With this truth, it becomes increasingly easier to trust Him to have our best interests at hand.
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. – Isaiah 46:10 (NIV)
#4. God is Wise.
Wisdom is more than just knowledge. Wisdom incorporates all the facts, combining heart and mind to make the absolute best decisions. God has nothing to learn. He already knows the end results. Therefore, every choice He makes is the best there ever will be.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and His paths beyond tracing out! – Romans 11:33 (NIV)
#5. God is Good.
God is good! He is kind, friendly, and wonderful. God is happiness and joy. The LORD cannot be anything but good. This means that every action and choice is good. God’s decisions will only ever be good!
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8 (NIV)
#6. God is Merciful.
Mercy is when we do not receive what we deserve. Salvation through Christ’s death is the greatest representation of His mercy. We deserve death for our sins, but instead, believers are given eternal life!
For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” – Romans 9:15 (NIV)
#7. God is Love.
Our terms or expectations do not bind God’s love. His love is endless. It does not change according to our circumstances. He knows everything about us, good and bad, and still chooses to love us.
Love is the essence of God’s character. It is unique and unconditional.
Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love. – 1 John 4:8 (NIV)
#8. God is Glorious.
God is beautiful and majestic. God makes everything beautiful. His infinite greatness is seen in the perfection of everything He is. His glory touches every aspect of His personality, every minute detail of His creation, and every ounce of His love.
Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. – Isaiah 43:7 (NIV)
#9. God Never Changes.
God never changes. Today, tomorrow, yesterday, and at the beginning of time, God was the same. This attribute is a great source of comfort for many believers. We do not need to worry that what pleased God yesterday will anger Him tomorrow. It is not the case.
His Word, His Will, His plan, His prophecies, and His covenants remain forever!
“I, the LORD, do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” – Malachi 3:6 (NIV)
#10. God is All-Powerful.
Our God is the God who provided manna in the desert, raised the dead bones to life, split the sea, flooded the Earth, brought countless prophecies to realization, walked on water, and performed more and more miracles. There is nothing God cannot do. More than that, nothing He does subtracts from His power. It is never ending, never draining.
Our circumstances do not limit Him. God is not bound by time frames, human conditions, or expectations of what we are. The Word says that nothing is impossible with God (Mark 10:27).
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. – Psalm 24:8 (NIV)
#11. God is Omnipresent.
Omnipresent means that God is everywhere all the time. You cannot run or hide from Him. He does not need permission to be somewhere, nor does He wait for an invitation. God never leaves you. His eyes never lose sight of you. You are never alone.
If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. – Psalm 139:8 (NIV)
#12. God is Compassionate.
God is compassionate and forgiving. He cares what is happening in your life. To be compassionate means that God genuinely suffers with us. He wants to comfort you and bring you out of your suffering.
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. – Psalm 116:5 (NIV)
#13. God is Faithful.
God’s faithfulness must be seen within His nature. God never changes; therefore, He is eternally faithful. He cannot deny Himself. Because of this, we can trust fully in His promises and prophecies.
He will never forget His promises nor defer from His Will. His Word will come to completion.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. – 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)
#13. God is Just.
God is just. His very nature is justice. God knows every fact in every case. There is no evidence hidden from Him. This means that every decision He makes is perfectly just. There is no reason to doubt Him, even when we don’t understand Him.
For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In My faithfulness, I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. – Isaiah 61:8 (NIV)
#14. God is Gracious.
Grace is receiving that which we do not deserve. Mercy is not receiving something we deserve, such as a punishment; grace is getting gifts we have not earned. We can earn nothing from God. Every beautiful blessing He gives us is from His graciousness.
If mercy was us not dying on the cross, grace is us entering Heaven because Christ did die! There are many forms in which God’s grace is given to us, but grace is an extension of His everlasting love.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)
#15. God is Immanence.
Immanence is a way of describing that God is always working for the good of His children. He doesn’t take a nap or a holiday. Unlike us, He never needs time off! Even in the tiny details of our day, God is working to His Will. God will never force us into a decision, but He is constantly working to prepare the way.
“Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill Heaven and Earth?” declares the Lord. – Jeremiah 23:23-24 (NIV)
#16. God is Righteous.
God’s justice and faithfulness work together to create perfect righteousness. The world and its people are constantly changing, but God remains consistently faithful and true to His children. We can place our complete and total trust in Him and His promises.
The LORD is righteous in all His ways and loving towards all He has made. – Psalm 145:17 (NIV)
#17. God is Sovereign.
God’s sovereignty is His divine control over everything. Nothing happens outside of God’s rule. Even sin is within the limits of what He will allow. Everything works together for the good of God’s Kingdom, even when we cannot understand this.
When the world seems to be in chaos, and you have no idea what is what, find comfort in the fact that everything continues to happen within God’s control!
In Him, we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him, who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His Will. – Ephesians 1:11 (NIV)
#18. God Has Perfect Transcendence.
Transcendence is the concept that God is unlike any other! No one and nothing can compare to Him. He has surpassed anything and everything. While we can grow closer to Him, we can never fully understand Him.
He is perfect and entirely unpredictable. This is a relief because if He were like us, He would have the same problems that we do! Instead, He transcends us, and we can grow to know Him through what He chooses to reveal.
#19. God is Jesus.
God is Jesus and Jesus is God. They are two aspects of the same person. Jesus is our friend. He is our comfort and refuge. Christ is our Savior. God is all of these things too.
God wants a close and intimate friendship and relationship with each of us. Anything we relate to Christ, we must relate to God. He is our Healer, our Helper, and is perfect and sinless.
“Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” – John 14:11 (NIV)
#20. God is Holy.
To be holy is to be set apart. God’s holiness shines brighter than anything else on Earth. Living in God’s ways makes us closer to being holy as He is; we become closer to the nature of God. His holiness is given to us through His Spirit and will never fail us in our time of need.
Because God is holy, sin cannot survive in His presence. He is perfect but loves us regardless of our sin and chooses to live in communion with us! His very holiness draws us to Him.
There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides You; there is no Rock like our God. – 1 Samuel 2:2 (NIV)
Origins of the Names of God
Yahweh, YHWH, Adonai, El Shaddai, Abba Father, and Jehovah are just some of the names of God. There are more names than most of us can remember, but what is God’s name?
Yahweh (YHWH) is the personal and covenant name of God. This name is found in Exodus 3 when Moses meets God in the burning bush. Originally God tells Moses He is EHYEH to translate from Hebrew as “I Will Be.”
You can imagine how confusing that could be when Moses needed to explain who sent him to the Israelites. Think about someone standing before you saying, “I Will Be sent me to tell you….”
Rather, God instructed Moses to tell the people that Yahweh sent him. The meaning is that God is. I AM WHO I AM.
God is self-sufficient. He requires nothing. The LORD is God. Yahweh is where we get the common moniker in our English Bibles, LORD, specifically in all capital letters. This name is used over 6,800 times in the Bible.
What is THE Name of God
This is the same as giving your birth name. Yahweh is THE name of God.
Hebrews believed this name to be too sacred and holy to be spoken. Therefore, they began to use the word Adonai when speaking or reading the scrolls. Adonai translates into Lord, but with lowercase letters. This Hebrew word was commonly used for kings, slave masters, or even shepherds with their flocks.
Scribes became concerned, even writing the name Yahweh out of fear that it was accidentally spoken. They began using the vowels from Adonai with the constants from Yahweh and created YAHUWAH in written form. This was a visual reminder not to speak the name Yahweh.
This written form loosely translated to the English version of Jehovah, as seen in many Bibles today. Jehovah is not seen as a legitimate name by many scholars. Rather today, we return to the use of Yahweh about the covenant name of God.
Bonus Attributes of God Resources
The Attributes of God Volume 1: A Journey into the Father’s Heart by A.W. Tozer is a classic! When you are done reading this book, you will no longer wonder what God is like.
If you are looking for a great way to teach children to pray for the attributes of God, The Attributes of God for Kids: A Devotional for Parents and Kids ages 4-11 is a perfect book! This book will engage young readers while developing a deeper knowledge of God in their lives.
The Attributes of God Teaching Series Study Guide will help you understand how God reveals Himself in Scripture and grow your relationship with Him.
A great way to learn the attributes of God in only a few minutes a day is with God Is: A Devotional Guide to the Attributes of God.
Stop by the SHOP to grab your copy of our FREE Attributes of God PDF printable! Take the attributes of God with you everywhere you go.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main attributes of God?
Christian churches often identify the main attributes of God as being omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnipresent (all-present). Ultimately it means that God knows everything, can do anything, and is everywhere all the time. Some scholars add omnibenevolent to this list, meaning supremely good.
Is it effective to pray with the attributes of God?
Yes. Praying the attributes of God can greatly improve your prayer life. As you come to know God more intimately, you will find that your prayers are powerful. You will grow to trust God more, even with the smallest details. It can be greatly effective to incorporate the attributes of God in your prayers.
Why is it important to learn the attributes of God?
Learning the attributes of God will help you to understand God better. You will learn to trust in Him and lean on His promises. These attributes show us things that are true of God. It will help you to grow closer to Him and understand how and why things have happened throughout the history of the Bible.
How does God reveal His attributes to us?
God has many ways of revealing His attributes to us. Throughout the Bible, we see how God has revealed Himself through His creation. We can also see how God reveals Himself to us through His Word. Often, God will reveal His attributes through circumstances we experience and how God works in those moments.
How many attributes does God have?
God’s attributes are essentially endless. Every time someone encounters God, they encounter a different one of His attributes. Some list His attributes as over 100. His attributes include grace, mercy, faithfulness, love, and kindness. We can see God’s attributes in His names, Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
Do You Know God This Way?
I am bad with names! I can meet someone up to 5 times before I remember their name, and then I need to interact with them to remember them personally! There is almost nothing more frustrating than being present at a function and having NO idea who you are speaking to!
It doesn’t need to be like this with our Father! God invites each of us to a deeper relationship with Him! God wants us to know Him! The attributes of God are a great way to do this!
Each characteristic of God’s nature can profoundly impact your life. Every attribute can change how you trust and rely on God during times of joy and moments of need.
As you pray for these attributes, worship Him. Allow God to reveal Himself more intimately and find strength and peace in how these attributes can change your life.
Have you ever experienced God by one of His names? How did this affect you as a child of God? What were the circumstances, and how have you remained close to this attribute since then?