A while ago, I read a commentary from Joyce Meyer. She entitled her message, “Exceedingly, Abundantly Above and Beyond,” which was taken from Ephesians 3:20: “God is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, [I love that word!] superabundantly far over and above all that we dare ask or think infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams (Ephesians 3:20).
She explained that whenever she prayed for people who are hurting, she whenever she saw a need, she always had a strong desire to help whoever was hurting. But like most of us, she would feel that her desire to help was always bigger than her ability to help. However, as she pointed out, it is not bigger than our Father’s ability! Amen! My friends, when we are facing something in our lives that is beginning to look s-o-o big, that our mind goes “tilt,” we need to have an attitude adjustment.
That’s right, we need to change how we approach our life and faith. We need to quit underestimating what our Lord has done for us. Last night in our Bible study, we looked a couple of passages that were absolutely amazing! I am speaking some great insight from Paul:
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we are a free people — free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth (Ephesians 1:7-10)
I don’t know why, but we continually forget that we have been given such incredible authority, and where we can discover this the most, is in our prayers. The question, though, is how do we actually use this authority? Ah! That’s an important question! I’m glad you asked: It is through Christ’s own name. You see, when we placed our faith in Jesus, He gave us the use of His Name. It is through His Name that we have His authority, His Character, and His Power! His sacrifice enables us to say, “I am Christ’s, I am in him. I am one with him.” Then, amazingly, Jesus took on our name. As our High Priest, he wrote our name on the palm of his hand and as a result, our name is registered in heaven, under his glorious name! Oh man, that is something we need to shout about!
You can see why the phrase “in Christ’s name” isn’t just some impersonal formula. Nor is it a ‘Magic” tag-line to your prayers. It is a literal position we have with Jesus. That position is recognized by the Father, all the angels in Heaven, and all the demons in hell. Jesus told us, “I have used figures of speech to tell you things. Pretty soon I am going to drop all the figures and tell you about the Father in plain language. Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I have revealed to you. I won’t continue making requests of the Father on your behalf.” No? No, “I won’t need to! Because you have gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly” (John 16:26–28). Oh, go ahead and dance a jig for that one!
That is the reason why Jesus commands us to pray in his name! He is saying, “Whenever you ask in my name, your request has the same power and effect with the Father as if it were me asking him.” In other words, it is as if our prayer is being uttered by Jesus himself before the Father’s throne. That is no different when we lay hands on the sick and pray! God sees us as if Jesus is laying hands on the sick to bring healing.
This is also why we are to come boldly to the throne of grace: to receive. We are to pray with confidence, “Father, I stand before you, chosen in Christ to go forth and bear fruit. Now I make my request largely, that my joy may be full.”
I continually hear Christians say, “Oh, I asked in Jesus’ name, but my prayers weren’t answered.” Then tell me, “I tried to claim the power in Jesus’ name. But it just didn’t work for me.” Oh! That could be the problem:
No really, there are many reasons why we don’t receive answers to our prayers. We may have allowed some sin in our lives, something that defiles our union with Christ. These become roadblocks that dam up the flow of blessing from him. He won’t answer our prayers until we have forsaken our sin. Or, maybe the blockage is due to being lukewarm, or being halfhearted toward the things of God. Maybe we are being stifled by doubt, which cuts us off from the power in Christ. James warns, “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believing, <u. People who ‘”worry their prayers’ are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open” (James 1:5-87).
That’s pretty clear, don’t you think? If you are going to waffle around, wondering whether he will answer, you won’t receive anything from Him. The word James uses here means “to be undecided.” The truth is, when these people made their requests, they were putting God on trial. In their hearts, they said, “Well Lord, if you answer me, I’ll serve you. I’ll give you everything, if you’ll just answer this prayer. But if you don’t . . . well, I’ll live my life my way. Here’s your chance.”
Now here’s the thing, He won’t be bribed. However, now please understand me here . . . I know unbelievers—and even new believers—who prayed something like that. They couldn’t truly trust and believe Yehoveh would come through—and He did honor their prayer. However, he knows our hearts, He knows our condition and situation, He knows where our heart is, and he knows when we are undecided in our commitment to his Son. He reserves the power that is in Christ for those who completely surrender to him.
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts.
It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.