13th October 2016

In His Name

“If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
John 14:14 (ESV)

Our annual Autumn Harvest Festival and all our 2016 conferences are built around Acts 4:12 which says “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Jesus’ name carries enormous weight—in fact, as we have just read, it is the only way to achieve salvation. So the instruction to ask for something in that same name is not to be taken lightly.

But simply tacking on the phrase, ‘we pray in Jesus’ name’ to the conclusion of our prayers is not enough. In order to use the name of our Saviour, we need to fully understand the implication. And one of the keys here is the word ‘in’. To pray ‘in’ Jesus’ name, we have to be ‘in’ him.

Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 1:3, “And because of him (God) you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” Being ‘in’ the name of Jesus, is an acknowledgment of our position in Jesus Christ. Again, Paul helps us understand, saying “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 KJV).

When we present our prayers to God, we must readily acknowledge that we are only in that positon because of what Christ has achieved. We are only ‘in’ Christ when his sacrifice is the essential part of our lives. What’s more, using his name means we accept the right of Jesus to act as a mediator between us and God (I John 2:1). In short, our standing before God rests in Jesus Christ and praying in his name means that any and everything we do (including asking) must be to his – not our – glory and honour.

It’s the same in the secular world, of course. Diplomats are sent abroad from, say, the UK government. They are empowered to act in the name of the government in London, but while in that position all that they do must reflect the policies of that authority. Those diplomats must not bring dishonour to the name of the United Kingdom. We, too, should only do what will bring honour to another realm – this time, God’s kingdom. And our requests must be in accord with the principles of that government.

It’s an awesome privilege to bring the name of Jesus into our prayers. Let’s make sure we use it rightly.

Prayer
Approaching your throne is a privilege made possible by the selfless sacrifice of your son. As we pray in his name, help us to be mindful of all it took to have that honour.
Amen

Study by Philip Stevens

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philip StevensAbout the Author:
Philip Stevens attends the Great Baddow Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK (near Chelmsford).

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Great Baddow
United Reformed Church
High Street
Great Baddow
CHELMSFORD CM2 7HH

Meeting Time:
Saturday 1pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Tony Goudie
Phone: 01508-498165
Email: tony_goudie@wcg.org.uk

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