Friday, 12 November 2010

Are you really praying in Jesus' name?

After an eloquent sermon disguised in prayer, the speaker concluded and said, "In Jesus' name. Amen." Everyone in the prayer meeting was relieved that the speaker had finished his spiritual lecture and that he used the "christianese formula" to indicate that he had finished. Sound familiar?

What does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus?

"In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." John 16:23,24

"In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you.." John 16:26,27

Jesus is telling His disciples that once He has returned to the Father, they can ask the Father "whatever" in Jesus' name. Jesus came to earth to open the way for mankind to know the Father through Him.

"For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit." Eph. 2:18

The believer's life is "hidden with Christ in God" and he is seated in the heavenly realm with Christ (Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1-3). Since the believer is united to Christ in this way, he as access to the Father just as the Son of God approaches the Father and speaks to Him. As Christ is, so are we in this world and so when we approach God the Father in the name of Jesus, we come to the Father as though Christ were coming before the Father (1 John 4:17).

Consequently the believer who approaches the Father in the name of Jesus will pray in the Spirit of Jesus and according to the will of Jesus. Prayers that are not according to the Spirit and will of Jesus are not of Him and therefore not in His name! The Spirit always prays according to the will of God (Rom. 8:27).

To approach the Father in the name of Jesus is to approach the Father as Jesus would. Let us be careful not to pray our own will and opinion and tag "In Jesus' name" at the end. Let us honour the name of Jesus and learn to pray His will and in His Spirit.

"Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once." John 13:31,32

When we truly approach the Father in Jesus' name, the Father will glorify His Son in us and through us. Let us pray in Jesus' name!

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