(2.24) Sign of the Cross as an Invocation of the Holy Name
Names were of so much importance in the Scripture that even God changed his peoples’ name to symbolize their mission in life such as Abram to Abraham meaning “father of many” and Jacob to Israel meaning “he who struggles with God.”
It is a custom even up to now that messengers get sent in the name of their master — the outcome of which lies heavily on the name of the sender. Remember the story of brothers Jacob and Esau? In Gen 32-33, Jacob sent an envoy to his brother Esau to ask for forgiveness on his behalf. The mere mention of Jacob's name made Esau immediately arrange men, four hundred of them, to see his brother. Jacob was petrified but fortunately for him, what Esau arranged was a welcoming party for he had been forgiven and welcomed as a brother.
If Jacob's name can elicit such a response, what more can God's name do for you? In the name of The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, Moses was sent to save Israel from slavery (Ex 3-15). By invoking Jesus’ name; demons fled (Mk 9:38), the sick was healed (Mk 16:17-18) and sins forgiven (Acts 2:38). Indeed baptism can only be fully received “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).
There is so much more we can accomplish in the name of God but we should bear in mind that God is meant to use us and not the other way around. We should therefore never forget to call upon his name mostly to give him praise and thanks as what Abraham did when he invoked the name of the Lord upon building an altar in Bethel (Gen 12:8) and Beer-seba (Gen 21:33).
In our day to day life, if we want to get someone's attention and favour, remember their name. If we desire God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to hear our prayers, invoking upon their name will be a good place to start and as Jesus said:
"I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (Jn 14:13).