September 15, 2008
In Jesus’ Name
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18 (NIV)
Children learn by copying their parents. They may not always understand their parents’ actions or words, still, they often adopt them as their own. The other day, our son offered the mealtime prayer. In usual fashion he finished the prayer by adding the tag line, “in Jesus Name.” This time, he questioned the “why” behind the words he had been taught to say.
Looking up from his plate, Parker inquired. “Why do we end our prayers in Jesus’ Name?” Great question! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we end our daily devotions with the same phrase. Perhaps you’ve also wondered why.
Growing up, I was taught that praying in the Name of Jesus meant we were in agreement with Him. That sounds good, but what exactly are we agreeing with?
In the book of Luke, we find a woman who knew the importance of agreeing with Christ. During Christ’s absence, his beloved friend Lazarus took ill and died. When Jesus eventually returned to town, He found Lazarus’ two sisters, Mary and Martha, in deep grief because of their loss. Martha ran out to meet Him. “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you” (11:21-22).
Martha’s statement of faith, “I know whatever you ask of God, He will give you” is significant to why we pray in Jesus’ Name. Martha understood that God had given Jesus all authority over heaven and earth, and wouldn’t deny the requests of His Son. In other words, Martha agreed—by her expression of faith—that Jesus had the authority to change her present situation if He so desired. That’s exactly what He did by resurrecting Lazarus from the dead!
Martha may not have been sure of much that dark day, but she was certain of who Jesus was—who God was—and the importance of their relationship with one another. Martha knew there was no higher court to petition than Christ.
In times of helplessness, you and I understand the importance of authority and what it can do for us. It’s why we ask to speak to the manager of a store in order to solve a problem the clerk has no authority over. We do so because we know the manager has the power and authority to act on our behalf. In a similar manner, we pray in the Name of Jesus because He has the authority—and the power—to accomplish what we cannot without Him.
When you and I pray in the Name of Jesus, we are exercising the same kind of faith Martha expressed. We are agreeing with and claiming the authority of Christ over our circumstances. And we are praying with power—the same kind of power that raised Lazarus from the dead!
We may not be sure of much. But we can be certain that through the authority given Jesus, you and I can boldly make our requests known to God.
Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that whatever you ask God, according to His will, on my behalf, He will give you—and He will give me. My request is __________. I ask it in the powerful Name of Jesus who has all authority over heaven and earth, Amen.
My First Story of Jesus by Tim Dowley
Dear Jesus: Seeking His Light in Your in Life by Sarah Young
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The next time you pray in the Name of Jesus, think about what you are saying. You are confessing and agreeing with Christ’s authority given to Him by God. You are praying with power. And you are saying that you believe God will not ignore Christ, or you.
What new insight have you learned about praying in the Name of Jesus?
How does praying with the same kind of power that raised Lazarus from the dead impact your prayer life?
Who gave Christ power and authority?
Will God ever deny Christ’s authority—why or why not?
Daniel 7:14, “He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” (NIV)
Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (KJV)
Matthew 11:27a, “And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 15 September 2008.