Friday, November 9, 2012

In His Name I Do Pray

              Have you ever wondered why we say, “In Jesus Name” after every prayer? I have always said it, because that is how I was taught to pray. When we are finished asking what we will from the Lord we are to say, “In Jesus Name.” But what exactly does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus? We as Christians ask the Lord for something and we end it with, “In Jesus Name, Amen.” But do we truly understand what we are saying when we say those three words? I am beginning to believe we do not.
                Name is defined as “used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering the name, i.e. for one’s rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds, power, etc.” The Name of Jesus represents His title and dignity, it means, “on the grounds of My authority.” When we ask in the name of Jesus, we are asking on the grounds of His authority. There is power in the name of Jesus. We know it, we even sing songs about it, but do we truly believe it when we pray it, when we ask in His name?
                Jesus tells us that if we ask anything in His name it will be given to us. (Matthew 7:7) He also tells us that if we have “faith as a mustard seed” we will say to that mountain be removed and cast into the sea and it will be done. (Matthew 17:20, Luke 17:6) He also tells us that whatever we ask in His name, that He will do, so that the Father may be glorified in Him. (John 14:13-14) If we ask anything in His name, He promises He will do it. So why then do we lack such power in our prayer life? Because we do not believe in the authority of the name we are asking in.
                Do you know that you are co-heirs with Christ Jesus? That everything He has been given, we have been given too. The Father has given to Jesus Christ a name above all names, He has given to Him all power, authority, all dominions and principalities are under His total and complete control. When we ask for anything in the name of Jesus, we are asking in that same authority- if and when we realize it and begin to believe it. James 1:5-7 tells us that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,” We are to ask in faith, and not doubt that we will be given the petitions that we have laid before the Lord. We can expect our prayers and petitions and supplications to be heard and answered when we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ, in His authority and in His power.
                I think too many times I come before the Lord in my own flesh and ask in my own name, and not in the name of Jesus, even though I do put His name at the end. But I do not believe that what I ask is valid, I do not stand in the authority of Jesus Christ when I pray, which is what the Lord God is showing me today. I am to come boldly to the throne of Grace. I am to stand upon the same grounds that Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, all the great men and women of faith once stood- a ground soaked with the blood of my Savior Jesus Christ. I am to come to the throne where my God sits and I am to stand on the grounds of what Christ has done for me and I am to ask in expectation of His answer to me. (Hebrews 11:1- faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen) I am to ask and to keep on asking. I am to seek and keep on seeking, I am to knock and keep on knocking. (Matthew 7:7) We are not to be weak minded in our prayer life, but bold and in complete confidence of the authority of Jesus Christ.
                  James tells us in 4:2 that we do not have because we do not ask. Now, I am not saying that we go to the nearest car dealership, lay our hands on a Lexus and say, “Lord, I ask in faith for this car to be mine!” and then expect it to happen, but what I am saying is that if we are going to pray “in the Name of the Lord” then we need to realize and believe what His name is for us. It is power, authority, confidence and boldness to live the life of faith that God our Father has always intended for us to live. I am not going to go out in my yard and tell the tree that is blocking the sun to be moved, but I can and I will have confidence to face the obstacles in my life with authority. I will have the confidence and boldness to say to that mountain of an issue looming over me that in the power of Jesus Christ I will not fall, I will stand in His authority and in what He has done for me. I will not be moved because of who He is. Jesus Christ is on the throne, and we need to have the boldness and the confidence to go to our Father, our Daddy in heaven and say, “I need___________” and then have the faith to expect Him to fulfill it for us.
                John 5:14-15 states, that the confidence we have in Him, is that if “we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” We pray for this and that, but we have no confidence in the power and authority of Jesus Christ. When clearly the bible tells us that to have faith in God means to have complete confidence in His power, authority and ability to provide for us in every area of our life. One commentary I read by Jon Courson put it like this;
                “The disciples said, “Increase your faith”
                “Jesus said, “Unleash your faith.”
                “The disciples said, “Expand your faith”
                “Jesus said, “Express your faith.”
                Jesus said to express our faith to the obstacles before us, “say to the mountain be removed and cast into the sea,” He didn’t say, “Pray that the mountain might be removed. He said speak to the mountain itself (Mark 11:23) Why were the disciples told to speak? Because while faith is implanted by the Word, it is unleashed through the lips, Romans 10:8 “But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach)”. {Jon Courson, New Testament Commentary Series}
                We are to pray in the boldness that we have been given in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us. When we put His name at the end of anything, when we stand before the Throne of His Grace and ask anything, if we ask in His name, His authority, His power, we will receive that which we have asked for. But, you may be saying, we are to ask in His will, and He answers according to His will. So how do we know if we are asking according to His will? You won’t know until you ask. Our Father tells us in Revelation 3:7 that He “will open doors no man can close, and close doors no man can open.” We will not know if it is His will until we ask. Just like Jesus said- “ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened unto you.” (Matthew 7:7) But you first have to ask!
                I have some specific areas in my life that are becoming huge obstacles and the Lord is clearly showing me that I still have them because I have not asked for them to be removed. I have not, because I ask not. And when I ask in His name, I need to have the confidence and the boldness to believe that He hears and He will answer. I will never ask anything in His name in vain again. For when I speak the name of Jesus Christ, there is power and there is authority, and He has all of it. When I ask in His name, I am standing upon holy ground; I am standing upon the blood soaked sacrifice of His love and His delight to give to me what I ask. I am His child, His co-heir and I have been given every right to ask, just as He said I should. Let us all come boldly to the throne of grace and have the confidence in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to ask and seek and knock, having the faith to expect the answer we seek. In Jesus Name, all power, authority be His forever and ever. Amen.