Monday, September 14, 2009

...In Jesus Name

Many of us need to know what Jesus meant when He said we should pray in His Name. What He really meant was not that His name should be a mere religious appendage to our prayers. The name of Jesus is much more than an endorsement or a seal to prayers. Remember that His name has been highly exalted above every other name (Phi.2:9-10). Therefore, it is imperative for us to know (or probably have an encounter with) the potency and efficacy of that name.

In the model prayer Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 6:9-13, one would see clearly that Jesus never attached His name between or after the prayer. I am very sure you would want to ask “why then do we pray in Jesus name? Why would Jesus Himself say that God will grant every request we make in His name?”

This is much deeper than a lot of us really understand or can comprehend. Therefore, I will allow these questions form the basis of this article and encourage us to do away with religion and get us to have a clearer understanding of God’s word because “…the letter kills but the Spirit gives life” (2Cor.3:6). Religion cannot lead us anywhere because Christianity is a way of life (the highest form of living).

My admonition is that if we must come to the understanding of this matter, we must do away with religion (in its entire ramification). Praying in the name of Jesus is likened to someone given the authority by a rich man to withdraw some money from his personal account. Withdrawing the money requires more than going into the bank and telling the cashier: “Mr. so and so said I should withdraw some money from his personal account.” You can agree with me what the outcome of this encounter would be. The fellow needs to produce a proof of the order mandating the bank to pay him the sum in question – which usually comes in the form of a cheque slip. He needs an identity proof as the bearer also.

In like manner, when we pray we need to be aware of the authority in that name and our identity or relationship with that name. Hence, for someone who is not genuinely born again and who obviously does not have a real relationship with that name, it is a sheer waste of time. The name of Jesus is like any other name in the mouth of such an one. There is simply no authority backing it up.

Some have a misconception of the role praying in the name of Jesus plays in the answers to prayer in that they see the name of Jesus as a medium, and that angels come, collect the prayer and place it before God who has the prerogative to either answer or not. This is very much untrue!

In the first place Jesus is not a medium (but a Mediator) and no angels take our prayers to God any more in this dispensation. Angels are regarded as “ministering spirits, sent forth for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Heb.1:14). They are ministering spirits FOR us and not TO us. This simply means that they have been created to serve us. The era when angels take prayers to God and bring answers to prayers from God are past. Now we have a better promise through the ultimate, once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus, which takes us right into the presence of God. Hebrews 10:19-20 says “having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh”.

Little wonder why the prayer of so many are unanswered today because they still operate in the Old Dispensation, and like Daniel their prayers are being held-up by the ‘Prince of Persia’ who is standing up to ‘their angel’. Let us wake up to a new realization and allow our prayers become more effectual, pulling down strongholds of the enemy in our minds and creating the desired future for lives and ministries.

Jesus Christ in John 14:6 clearly stated: “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” No man can get to God except by Jesus. This means that it is only in Jesus that we have “the permit” to God. Jesus is the access to God – when He is not in a life, there is no way that life can reach God. It is virtually impossible to reach God without Jesus. No one can reach God apart from Jesus (The Message Bible). This is the picture Jesus was trying to paint in our hearts when He encouraged us to ask anything in His name (Jn14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23-24, 26).

The story was told about a soldier who had been granted permission to seek a hearing from the President, during the American Civil War, as a result of family tragedy. He wanted to request exemption from military service. However, when he arrived at the White House he was refused entry and sent away. He went and sat down in a nearby park.

A young boy came across him and remarked how unhappy he looked. The soldier found himself telling the young lad everything. Eventually the boy said ‘come with me’. He led the dejected soldier back to the White House. They went around the back, none of the guards stopping them. Even the generals and high ranking government officials stood and let them pass through. The soldier was amazed.

Finally, they came to the presidential office. Without knocking, the young boy opened the door and walked straight in. Abraham Lincoln, standing there, turned from his conversation with the Secretary of State and said, “What can I do for you Todd?” Todd said, “Dad, this soldier needs to talk to you”.

This is exactly what Jesus does for us – He gives us direct access to God so that He would bend His head to listen to us. He takes us right into His Glory - where the angels may not reach or approach; where we can express our deeply felt desires in prayer. Thus, when we pray in the name of Jesus, we are praying ourselves right into the presence of the Most High.

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