Thursday, September 17, 2015

Praying In The Name Of Jesus, Part 1

Chuckle: "God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind, I will live forever."
Quote: "Man is never so tall as when he kneels before God -- never so great as when he humbles himself before God. And the man who kneels to God can stand up to anything." --Louis H. Evans
Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6 NIV).
For a Christian, praying should be as natural as breathing. In the same way that breathing is the body's physical response to the presence of air around us, so prayer should be the response of spiritual life to the presence of God's Spirit who is also around us, in us, and with us. Prayer is our spiritual breath and is indispensable for our spiritual life.
We talk a lot about prayer, and many attempt to pray. Some understand the secret to a powerful prayer that God will honor -- others do not. Praying in Jesus' Name is the only acceptable way for us to pray. Often, when we come to the end of our prayer, we say something like, "I pray these things in the Name of Jesus, Amen." Do we really think about the meaning of these words, and their importance to the effectiveness of our prayers?
If I'm not careful, I catch myself repeating these words at the end of my prayer without even thinking about them. I find myself saying them out of habit. In reality, they are the most important words we pray. If we are serious about praying with power, we must learn: (1) what it means to pray in Jesus' name, (2) how to pray in Jesus' name, and (3) the results of praying in Jesus' name. First: What does it mean to pray in Jesus' name?
"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it" (John 14:13-14 NIV). Jesus said He would do whatever we ask in His name -- thus validating his oneness with the Father. In this promise, does Jesus mean we have the right to ask anything our hearts desire, and be assured the request will be granted? The answer is "yes" and "no." We'll discover what I mean in our next two studies.
The name of Jesus is our authorization, or legal warrant, to enter into God's presence in prayer. As we saw in John 14:6, the only way for us to approach the Father is through Jesus. To have access to the throne of grace, there is no other way. Praying in His name gives legitimacy to our prayers and testifies as to the condition of our hearts.
"A father took his children to the county fair. He bought a roll of tickets to the rides. At one ride, a strange boy came and held out his hand for a ticket. The father drew back his hand. But then his son Stephen said, 'It's OK, Dad, this is my friend and I told him you would give him a ticket.' The father gave the boy the ticket in his son's name, even though the boy did not deserve the ticket."
When Jesus says we can ask for anything, we must remember that our asking must be in His name and consistent with his character and will.  More on this subject next time.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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