I have been uncharacteristically tired for about a month. Its been a battle just to do the simple things in life – clean, cook, wake up, get dressed. I prayed for energy, in the name of Jesus. I even pulled out my trusty Bible (what a good little Christian, no?) and looked up a verse, “I shall walk and not grow weary.” But as the words came out of my mouth, my spirit took in, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
His will or my will?
His will was not that I would have energy to do what I wanted. No, that was my will. His will was that in my weakness, I would reach out to Him. In that moment I realized that while I said the words, “In the name of Jesus” I did not mean them.
“Life and death are in the power of the tongue”, yet we talk as if our words went nowhere.
How silly we are. We have no idea what is roaming around in our hearts until we offend our Almighty God. We offend our Lord when we use His name in vain, for our own wants and needs (what else does “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain” mean, but that we shall not speak it for the wrong purpose?) Yet in His great mercy He teaches instead of punishing.
So what does it really mean to ask in the name of Jesus?
It’s not just today. I often wonder if I am praying right. “In the name of Jesus” at the end of a sentence does not mean Jesus is at the forefront of our intentions. The words alone are religiosity, useless. It’s the intent of the heart that brings life to what we speak.
“Life and death are in the power of the tongue”, yet we talk as if our words went nowhere. Like being born of the Spirit, “you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes…”
In the name of Jesus means for the sake of Jesus. For the sake of His glory, His cause. So often I take that for granted, use these words for my own well-being. For my own goals, ambitions, good intentions and good causes. A good cause is great – except that “no one is good but God”, and good intentions are sincere – except that “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
My sincere heart may lead to his pain and hurt. Their best intentions might result in another’s struggle and sin. We know so little about the tomorrow that our today will bring, yet its so easy for us to act as gods and forget to be “co-laborers” in the only plan that is above all plans and with the only God that is above all gods.
- Seek first the Kingdom of God… and all these things will be given to you. (Matthew 6:33)
- If you abide in me, and my words abide in you…ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)
- You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:3)
The only way to truly pray in the name of Jesus is to seek his kingdom first, to abide in Him and let His words abide in us. The only way we will ask and receive is if we ask rightly, with pure intentions to spend it on His passions and not ours.
In the name of Jesus means we let go of our own wants and desires, relinquish control of our plan and what we believe to be true. We switch from pilot to co-pilot, where God leads the way and we follow his route.
If I am to truly pray in the name of Jesus, I need to admit that I do not know the way and that I am willing to “walk on water”, do what it takes, “suffer for His name”, so that His will is accomplished. When my heart is aligned with His, I pray His will, and in that moment, whatever I ask, it will be done for me. At that point we will be on the same mission, so as it is done for me, it is really done for Jesus.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16)
Dear Lord, Forgive me, forgive us, for our impure hearts. Forgive us for using your name in vain. Show us, Holy Spirit, to come so close to you every day that we hear your voice and know your will. Teach us to strip ourselves of our own flesh so that we might truly and sincerely pray with your mission in mind. Show us to focus our hearts on growing the Kingdom of God and bringing glory to You and You alone. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Join the conversation!
This is a hard one. Let’s be honest, we want what we want, and we know we have a loving father who takes such good care of us. Its so easy to pray as a child, “father, I want a new dress!”, and He will love us in those moments. But when I prayed for more energy this last week, if I am honest, I prayed for energy to clean my house and ride my bike Lol (Don’t judge me!) All joking aside, what is one thing you recently prayed for that, if you must be honest, would bring you to the same realization I came to?
⦁ Isaiah 40:31 – Walk and not grow weary
⦁ Matthew 11:28 – I will give you rest
⦁ Exodus 12:7 – Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
⦁ Proverbs 18:21 – Life and death are in the power of the tongue
⦁ John 3:8 – You hear it’s sound, but do not know where it comes from…
⦁ Mark 10:18 – No one is good but God
⦁ Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way that appears to be right…
⦁ 1 Corinthians 3:9 – Co-laborers with God
⦁ Matthew 6:33 – Seek first the Kingdom of God
⦁ John 15:7 – If you abide in me and my words abide in you…
⦁ James 4:3 – You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly
⦁ Matthew 14:28-33 – Peter walks on water
⦁ Philippians 1:29 – Suffering for Christ
⦁ John 15:16 – You did not choose me, but I chose and appointed you