“. . . in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

I’m convinced it is vitally important we understand this fundamental tenet of how we pray!

praying-man

Quite often we will say something out of habit, or rote, or perceived obligation. When we do that, it is likely the statement is bereft of meaning. For example, when someone sneezes we will say, “Bless you!” Or, more rarely nowadays, “God bless you!” Do we really mean that? Are we thinking about God blessing that individual? Or, has it become a habit we feel compelled to do?

The following article, written by the late M. R. De Haan II, from Radio Bible Class fame, speaks to that problem, and addresses the very nature of what we say in the way we pray.


“. . . in Jesus name. Amen.”

             By M. R. De Haan II      Published in the RBC Digest®; Vol. 3, No. 11; February 1979

Thot: The words “for Christ’s sake” too often become a profanity in the curses of sinners – and in the prayers of saints.

Most Christians are familiar with the fact that the Scriptures tell us to pray in the name of Jesus. And they promise that if we do, the Father will give us everything we ask for. Therefore, along with so many other Christians, I close my prayers in the name of Christ.

But here is the problem. I don’t get everything I ask for. You don’t either, do you? Even though we tag our prayers with the Blessed Name, it doesn’t always work.

I don’t mean to be profane about this. Nor do I regret that I haven’t gotten everything I’ve asked for. To be sure, much of what I’ve wanted would not have been in my best interests – nor God’s. And it’s only because of His loving wisdom that He refused to grant my selfish, shortsighted desires.

If God cannot lie, then why doesn’t He keep His promise when I ask in His Son’s name?

But that doesn’t solve our problem. If God cannot lie, then why doesn’t He keep His promise when I ask in His Son’s name?

Answer: Praying in the name of Jesus doesn’t mean praying with the right “tag.” Neither does it mean twisting the Arm of the Almighty by appealing to the authority of His Son. Praying in the name of Jesus means praying in accordance with His character.

Reason: In biblical times the idea of a “name “ meant much more than it does today. It often was descriptive of the character and work of the person who bore it. In the case of Christ that was especially true. He is revealed to us as “the Lord Jesus Christ.” “Lord” speaks of His authority. “Jesus” describes Him as Savior. “Christ” as God’s anointed one – in other words, the person to whom God gave His Spirit in order to fulfill His assignment.

Significance: What does all this mean? It means that my prayers, to be in the name of Christ, should conform to the character behind these descriptive titles. They are to be in the spirit of rescue (Jesus), in the spirit of fulfilling God’s purpose (Christ) and in the awareness that my authority can only be an extension of His authority (Lord).

We therefore are to pray, as His representatives, “for His sake,” in His place, in His Spirit, and with His purpose. This means that we must assume His character and by so doing receive whatever we ask for.

This realization isn’t quite so appealing is it? It’s easier to try to use the name of Christ as some magical formula. But to do so would be to diminish the name of Jesus to an instrument of our own flesh. The Lord of Glory can’t let that happen – for our sake – not for His.


Prayer is at the very heart of Christianity

Prayer is at the very heart of Christianity; because Christianity is NOT a religion, but the way of life for a follower of Jesus.

Since many of us are committed to praying for our nation and the first 100 days of this new Administration (in addition to every other aspect of our life), I think it is vitally important we understand this fundamental tenet of how we pray

“Now I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.” [1 Corinthians 1:10 HCSB]

Prayers for the First 100 Days of the Trump Presidency

praying-hands-and-flag-2

As of 12:01 PM, EST, January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. Regardless of your religious, political or social leanings, he will be the President. It is incumbent upon us all, just as most Christians did on January 20, 2009, that we acknowledge his position and pray for him. The future of our nation, and of our children and grandchildren, depends on this country re-asserting its leadership position in the world.

Christians who read their Bible know that God establishes leaders in their positions.

President Trump and his transition team have set forward an aggressive plan to turn our nation around from the insanity of the previous eight years. The first 100 days of this Administration are extremely crucial in establishing his agenda.

President Trump and his administration need God’s Wisdom and blessings.

In other words – they need to hear from God!

In other words – we need to pray!

The following information is reprinted from the Harvest Prayer Ministries website: http://harvestprayer.com/resources/pray-for-america

Pray 100 Prayer Effort

A major effort to rally pray for our new president is underway, sponsored by dozens of prayer ministries. There are currently three place you can go to sign up for different aspects of this prayer initiative.

For a prayer to help you focus each day, go to a Facebook page: facebook.com/prayfirst100. Please click like or follow at this site to have the prayer posted to you. We recommend liking or sharing the prayers when the first ones come so Facebook will know that you are serious about wanting to see these posts.

facebook.com/prayfirst100

Most of the prayers here will be posted by Dr. David Butts, the chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee and the author of With One Cry: A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America.

If you would like a devotional each day to help you better focus, go to http://pray100.org. If you sign up, these devotionals, each written by a different leader, will be emailed to you each day.

Pray100

a-cross-at-sunset

It is not an option to sit in the grandstand. There are no spectators. God has heard our cries for our nation and granted His Mercy!! But He requires us to take up the standard in obedience to Him.

The Church must lead out in humbling ourselves before a Holy God, confessing our sins in abject humility, and asking Him to heal our land!

If that scares you, sounds too ‘religious’ for you, then you should know for sure God is convicting you; and you can know for sure the Devil, the arch enemy of the Church, is deceiving you!

Please make every effort to pray for the Church, for our country, for this new Administration, and especially for President Donald Trump.

A Father’s Heart

simbaDuring this time of year – the Christmas Season – Christians and some non-Christians focus on the birth of the baby Jesus and all that surrounds that special event. While even some Christians only pay lip service to the real ‘reason for the season,’ no one can deny it has been commercialized and over developed to the point of distraction.

The passage in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:26-2:52) is the most detail we have describing the actual events surrounding the coming of Immanuel (God With Us). Nearly everything else has been developed by story-tellers, with some of it based on stories handed down and much of it based on historical assumptions. But Luke got it straight from Mary, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit!

It is a most incredulous story – that an Eternal, Omnipresent God would, or even could, squeeze Himself into the body of a tiny Baby. But, that’s what happened.

What I have been considering this season, though, has been God the Father’s role in this. Spiritual extrapolation tells us that God developed this perfect plan before time began. Let me put some flesh on this. Here is God the Father and His only Son – a beloved Son, part of the Holy Trinity – whom He loves with an eternal, everlasting love.

The Omniscient God knows that created man will allow sin into his life.  But because of His infinite love He sets down a plan that will allow redemption. Only, the thing is, there is no finite, created being or thing that is a worthy sacrifice for sinful man to find infinite forgiveness. There must be a finite sacrifice that will enter the finite world and provide infinite cleansing for all who believe.

So God must send His only Son, out of a Glorious Undefiled Heaven into this sin darkened cesspool. And the ultimate plan is for His Son to offer Himself up as the blood sacrifice necessary to satisfy the Just and Righteous God.

“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” [Romans 5:17 NIV]

As a finite man, a father, I cannot but believe that it broke the heart of God to send His Son on such a mission. And, how much more did it burden the heart of God that the very people His Son was sent to ransom, rejected Him and His message and violently murdered Him.

God loved the people of this world – you, me, Herod, Adolph Hitler – every human born since the Creation of Adam and Eve –  to such an extent that He was willing to sacrifice His Beloved Son for the singular purpose of redeeming mankind – to bring man back to his originally created status with God. If man would accept this gift from God.

He stood mute, the Righteous Judge, while His Son was nailed to a tree. He held back His Omnipotence, turned His back and placed all the sins of mankind on Him. We know and love that history. But let’s get back to The Nativity.

Once God had set this plan in place – before time – He was bound by His Eternal Perfection to complete it. The redemption of mankind, the salvation of all Creation, lay in the tiny hands of a vulnerable, peasant child in the care of a teenage peasant girl and a blue-collar builder from a nondescript rural village.

God the Father foretold this plan more than 700 years before the actual event -. His Father’s Heart, desiring to give peace and assurance to a troubled people!

How do you celebrate this most extraordinary event? Have you lost the significance of a new born baby’s cry in the village of Bethlehem, more than 2000 years ago? Is it lost in the screams of the vendors seeking to capitalize on a festival that has lost its meaning, or the cries of the wretched, deceived rabble who hearken to Satan’s lies that it is all a farce?

Get back to the Father! Re-read His Love Story to you in the Books of Isaiah, Micah, Matthew, Luke and John, and others. Mute out the noise and listen to that sweet baby’s cry in the night, the overwhelming joy of that new mother and father, and the exuberant wonder of those shepherds who were granted the first birth notice for Immanuel!

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” [Isaiah 7:14 NIV]

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” [Isaiah 9:6 NIV]

“Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” [Luke 1:38 NKJV]

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14 NIV]

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” [Luke 2:8-11 NIV]

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” [John 1:5 NIV]

A FEW WORDS, NOW THAT THE AMERICAN ELECTION IS OVER

Thanksgiving Week, 2016

Before this extraordinary Presidential election – what did you think was going to happen on Election Day? Seriously!! Did anyone think we would see Donald Trump leap out of the starting gate, never looking back? Ahead throughout the evening? Accomplishing an historic victory for a non-politician? Even if you hoped for a victory could you have envisioned such a sweeping victory?

So, what’s this all about?

It is a right and privilege to vote in the USA. It is the Christian’s duty to vote! In so doing we are participants in God’s Omnipotent work of placing leaders over nations.

The pundits, pollsters, talking heads, politicians, etc. and etc. have been going 24 hours a day since the close of the polls. None of them, save the few in Christian media, have acknowledged our Sovereign God’s Hand in placing Donald Trump into this position.

Similarly, few have acknowledged that it was an act of MERCY by Almighty God to stop (slow down) our nations slide into an abject godless state.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” [Romans 13:1-4 NIV]

We know, by the things uncovered during the election, that President-Elect Trump is flawed, at best. It is unlikely (I do not profess to know) that he is a born again Christian. However, I believe he has a desire to do what is right, that he recognizes the importance of turning around the wholesale slaughter of preborn babies, and that he recognizes the Christian heritage on which our nation is founded. And I believe he has accepted that the government has no right under our Constitution to inhibit religious freedom, that the work of the Church is within any and every facet of our culture – public and private. Similarly, He seems to understand that we must maintain a strong relationship with our only ally in the Middle East – Israel.

But I do not have direct access to Mr. Trump, nor to any of his advisors. I have very limited voice with our elected legislators. What then should I do as a result of this very clear act of Mercy by my God?

“A king’s heart is like streams of water in the LORD’s hand: He directs it wherever He chooses.” [Proverbs 21:1 HCSB]

On Memorial Day, November 11, we remember and honor all the men and women who have served this nation through the military. And that is as it should be, “Lest we forget.” But the best way to honor them is by holding and keeping the nation God gave us, the nation they have served – not the one we are rapidly moving toward!

I deeply feared where this nation was headed if we had 4 to 8 more years of anti-God, anti-Christian, socialist leadership at the highest office. I grieved over what kind of culture I was leaving for my children and grandchildren. My wife and I prayed with fervor for God’s Mercy! And, obviously many of you, many throughout this nation, and probably the world, prayed the same.

And guess what? Our God, who hears all true prayers, granted us His Mercy. It is a limited deal though. He does not go back to sleep now, letting us just go about our business with no responsibility to change. This is not recess time, so that we can continue pursuing worldly gain and pleasure. He never sleeps, never slumbers. God has hit the pause button on our fall into the abyss. We are recipients of a renewed opportunity to actually BE the salt and light within our culture.

“”You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 5:13-16 NIV]

The responsibility for my actions, and your actions, in every facet of our daily life, is ours individually. I am accountable to God for the way I represent His Son in this world. Whether the government assists me, leaves me alone, or outright persecutes me, I am responsible to God for every moment of my life.

I can promise you that God does have a plan for each of us individually. But, it is not the way of our Loving God to force His Will on us. That is part of being made in the image of God. We have a will. If we allow ourselves to be subjects (slaves) of God, His Holy Spirit will speak to our spirit, and we will subject our will to that of our Father. Any pause after hearing a directive from God is an act of defiance of our will – and it is a sin before our God.

God has inclined His ear toward us and has granted Mercy on our nation. But we must act without delay. Get on your knees, thanking God for His Mercy.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” [Matthew 6:33 NIV]

The enemy has grown more arrogant as the Church has weakened in its resolve. Satan’s deception has moved with powerful force into the Church. Pulpits have gone silent to the truth of the Word of God. The institutional churches in America have sold out to the world. More Christians are listening to the culture and to the ‘siren call’ of human desires rather than to the ‘still, small voice of God,’ believing that God’s Word evolves to coincide with the culture.

God reveals Himself through the revelation of His Word and of His Son, Jesus. These are the same yesterday, today and forever!

God loves His Church. It is becoming the Bride He has appointed for His only Son. He will honor our efforts as we seek to do His Will. The prize of eternal life with Jesus is worth whatever the price!

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:38-39 NKJV]

“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” [2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV]

As we observe this time of giving thanks to our Creator and Provider, Almighty God, we should thank Him for granting us an opportunity to turn back to the foundation of our nation, which is Christian at the core.

Then, Christians, we must commit ourselves, wholeheartedly and with diligence, to prayer, first and foremost; prayers of thanksgiving and to seeking God’s will; and then committing ourselves, selflessly and with NO procrastination, to actively doing the will of our Heavenly Father!

Bless God, America!

And may God continue to bless America!

COMMITMENT

COMMITMENT

By Paul Van Dyke

MaryKay Corporation

COMMITMENT IS WHEN YOU HAVE INSPIRED YOURSELF INTO THE SISTERHOOD OR THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE UNASHAMED.

WHEN YOU POSSESS AN INNERMOST SPIRIT AND DESIRE.

WHEN YOUR DIE IS CAST; WHEN YOUR DECISION HAS BEEN MADE.

WHEN YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO STEP OVER THE LINE, STAND UP AND BE COUNTED AND BECOME A DISCIPLE OF THE DETERMINED.

WHEN YOU WON’T LOOK BACK, LET UP, SLOW DOWN, BACK AWAY OR BE STILL.

WHEN YOUR PAST HAS BEEN REDEEMED, WHEN YOUR PRESENT MAKES SENSE, WHEN YOUR FUTURE IS SECURE.

WHEN YOU’RE FINISHED AND DONE WITH LOW-LIVIN’, LIGHT WALKIN’, SMALL PLANNIN’, SMOOTH KNEES, DULLIN’ DREAMS, TAMED VISION, MUNDANE TALK, CHEAP GIVIN’ AND DWARFED GOALS.

WHEN YOU LIVE BY FAITH; WHEN YOU LEAN ON YOUR STRENGTHS; WHEN YOU WALK WITH CONFIDENCE; WHEN YOU’RE LIFTED BY PRAYER AND YOU’RE LABORED BY LOVE.

WHEN YOUR DIRECTION IS SET; WHEN YOUR GAIT IS FAST, YOUR GOAL IS REAL, YOUR ROAD IS ROUGH, YOUR WAY IS NARROW, YOUR COMPANIONS ARE FEW, BUT YOUR GUIDE IS RELIABLE AND YOUR MISSION IS CLEAR.

WHEN YOU CANNOT BE BOUGHT, COMPROMISED, DETERRED, LURED AWAY, TURNED BACK, DELUDED OR DELAYED.

WHEN YOU WILL NOT FLINCH IN THE FACE OF SACRIFICE OR PAUSE IN THE PRESENCE OF PROCRASTINATION.

WHEN YOU REFUSE TO NEGOTIATE AT THE TABLE OF FEAR, PONDER AT THE POOL OF POPULARITY OR MEANDER IN THE MAZE OF MEDIOCRITY.

WHEN YOU WON’T GIVE UP, LET UP, OR SHUT UP UNTIL YOU’VE STAVED UP, STORED UP, PRAYED UP AND PAID UP AND BECOME THE PERSON THAT GOD INTENDED YOU TO BE.

WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT, YOU BRING ABOUT.

WHEN YOU ARE COMMITTED, THAT’S WHEN YOU STAND OUT FROM MEDIOCRITY.

WHEN YOUR DESIRE DOMINATES YOUR DOUBTS, WHEN YOUR PERFORMANCE PRECEDES YOUR PROCRASTINATION AND WHEN YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE IS GREATER THAN YOUR PROBLEMS. . . .

                                  . . . . THAT’S WHEN YOU HAVE COMMITMENT!

Got Faith?

What is faith – really?

What does it mean to have faith? What does it mean to be faithful? These are questions that each of us will deal with if we have any desire to know God, or a desire to pursue our definition of God.

The definition of personal faith in the Bible is (roughly) the substance of our hope (our assurance) in Jesus, in His bodily resurrection, and His presence and power in the unseen realm; faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.

But then, Jesus asked this question of His disciples, regarding His return (commonly referred to as His Second Coming), “. . . when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). The faith Jesus refers to is the whole body of revealed truth. In other words, will He find a people who embrace the whole of God’s revealed truth and walk by it, rejecting the worship of worldly passions? The converse is this – Will He find a people who know the truth but choose not to live it – who choose to reject those truths that interfere with the life they want to live? This condition within the Body of Christ is known as apostasy.

Scripture is clear that God is the source of all foundational truths, wisdom and knowledge. “. . . faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

To exclude Jesus, or even to try to marginalize Him, is to risk severe error – missing the mark entirely. Similar to the precision guidance necessary for a NASA launch to the Moon; if the scientists are off the mark by a fraction of a degree the trajectory could be off by thousands of miles in space. The Apostle Paul wrote, “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.” (Colossians 2:2-4)

If our belief system is not based on the foundational truths from God (like a ship’s anchor), we will find ourselves drifting far away from reality. You see, truth is NOT relative!