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]