The Name of Jesus
|The Author and Finisher of Our Faith|
Be sure to continue making lists as you read.
Lesson 16 - THE NAME OF JESUS .. Part IV ...
Praying in Jesus' Name
Is praying in Jesus' Name simply asking for something we desire, using the phrase .. and 'signing His Name?' .. Not by any means.
First of all, when we pray in Jesus' Name we must be praying the will of the Father. Jesus at all times did only that which was the will of the Father. The most crucial moments of His life here on earth were before His crucifixion, where He agonizingly prayed, "Not my will, but Thine." Matt. 26:39 ... Now Jesus certainly had authority here on earth ... even on the cross He could have called legions of angels to come to His rescue, but He remained steadfast in doing the Father's will in carrying out the plan for our redemption. In His own obedience He made certain that His Name would be the final authority and be the Name above All Names, to which all things in heaven and earth must submit. ... (Jesus) being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at THE NAME OF JESUS every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11
Then He gave His Name to us and the authority to pray to the Father using His Name. During the last night Jesus spent with his disciples He told them that they would now represent Him (Jesus) in their petitions to God the Father. ~ John 16:23-28 ... And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
Jesus didn't spend three years of ministry just awaiting the time for His sacrificial death on the cross. Reading the Gospels gives us a picture of what His purpose was in all the teaching and preaching He did. Everything He said and did was aimed at revealing the Father .. His nature, His plan, His love for us, and His will. So, in knowing and seeing Jesus, the Father was seen! Therefore to represent Jesus is to represent what Jesus knows about, taught us about and would ask of the Father Himself.
So, to rightly pray in Jesus' Name, we must pray what Jesus would pray.
We may ask, how then can we know what to pray? ... The disciples were in a sort of 'prep school' while following Jesus from town to town, crowd to crowd and person to person. He taught them many things that they barely understood at the time. They didn't have the New Testament Bible as we do. They would be the ones who would, in obedience go to wait for the Holy Spirit in that upper room as Jesus had instructed. And they prayed in the power and authority in Jesus' Name; they were in one accord and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus had told his disciples previously that the Holy Spirit would come to them and be their "Helper" and would reveal to the disciples not things of His own, but only words that Jesus would speak through Him.
John 16;12,13 ... I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Ro 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
We have the Holy Spirit of God if we are one of His, and He causes the will of God to be made known to us in our spirits. We may not know exactly what the will of God is in every instance, but in our spirits, by the Holy Spirit, we know .. our inner man, born again, knows the will of God, being cleansed, made new and in right standing with the Father! And we have the written word, which is made alive to us by the Holy Spirit. We have a Guide, a Counselor, a Shepherd, a Light, a Witness ... to show us the way and the will of God.
Of course there are conditions to prayer, and we could do a whole study on just that. I'm sure we all know the basics of conditions to God hearing and answering our prayers .. those are: Faith (we must believe), Love, (we love God and our brethren) Forgiveness (we must not hold back forgiveness of others), Not Ask Amiss (selfish, lustful desires) And we can't know exactly what God's plans are for us and we can't always see 'down the road' to the final result of God's workings in our lives. Many times I haven't understood why I didn't receive the answer that I expected or desired. But I know He's my Father and He loves me and He has my best interest in His Heart, so I must rely on that until I know someday the why and reason of things. And I can remember when Jesus fervently prayed, "Not my will, but Thine." Accepting His Will in our lives when it contradicts our own will is not always easy to swallow, but look at Jesus as an example and be thankful that we've never had to, and never will have to bear the cross that He bore for us as He set aside His will for the Father's in our behalf!
After considering all these conditions - it all boils down to the main issue ... If we ask the Will of God in the Name of Jesus it will be done!
And we will ask in the will of God if we abide in Him and He abides in us. Then as Jesus said, If we ask anything in His Name, believing, we WILL receive. One of my favorite passages in the Word is in I John .. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
One translation reads that if we ask anything according to His will, we have His ear (he hears us) and we know that if He hears us, whatever we ask, we know we have that which we ask of Him. That is so powerful when you really look at it! One thing that really stood out to me in this passage is that apparently the only way I can expect God to hear me is that I ask according to His will! And the true nature of praying in Jesus' Name will require me to pray what Jesus would pray Himself. After all, if I'm praying in His Name, then I naturally must represent Him.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you ... John 15:7
If this has seemed repetitive it's because the more I looked at the Scriptures, the more I saw that every act done and everything prayed for, or commanded to be done in the Name of Jesus, in the New Testament, could all be traced, of course, right to the will of God and His plan, because of His great love for us and for His Glory. Sometimes we make things too complicated and too 'deep' ... when the Truth is often very simple and obvious. Sometimes we need to 'major in the minors!'
In closing, I pray that we all will be able to relax in the Lord and know that we need not strive to get our own way, because if our own way is not in our best interest and the will of God for us in Christ Jesus, then our spiritual and mental energies are a negative force and work against us, robbing us of the peace and joy that our Abba Father wants for us in trusting in Him and knowing that His will in our lives is working in us and for us.
I don't mean we should be passive or have a 'what will be will be' attitude. We should always strive to do the will of God in Jesus, and as we work toward the goal of the high calling of the Lord, His plan for us will unfold as we go forth in the Light of His Glory!
Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow! I pray in the Name of Jesus, that you're prospering in His Word and growing in His Grace!
Just a note ... Due to the surgeries Stan has had recently and some of the other challenges we've been facing, my Bible Studies will be approximately once a month from now on. I've decided that to say it will be done exactly at the first of every month has been setting a deadline for myself which has been increasingly difficult to maintain, so I hope you'll understand and stay with us. I'll try to keep them coming as regularly as possible. I ask that you pray for our family for health, strength, endurance, wisdom, and direction, both physical and spiritual. Your prayers have always meant so very much to us and we love you and appreciate your support in prayers. I know as we pray for each other in Jesus' Name, that the will of God will be done in our lives.
Remember, we don't do any studies during the Christmas Holidays, but Lord willing, I will try to get a lesson out in November.
Jonathan has done a wonderful job in reconstructing the site. I'm so proud of him. There will be many Christmas pages beginning the first week in November. We'll send out new page URLs ... about 6 every week til Christmas. We hope you'll be blessed by them and that they'll add a touch of Love and Joy to your Holiday Celebration!
I thank God and praise Him for the many answers to prayer that I've been told of in the last month. So many victories in the Lord and much to rejoice over! There are always needs too, and they remain on our prayer list. God is able, His love is unending, and He will never forsake us!
and Love ... Until next month, (Nov. '03)
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Love In Christ,