Monday Morning Devotion-September 21, 2020
Whatever you ask in My Name, that will I do. John 14:13
It's one of the more frustrating things that can happen. You head out to the garage. Get in your car. Turn on the ignition and nothing! Instant diagnosis: dead battery. Instant solution: Call AAA. That's the American Automobile Association but hardly anyone knows what AAA stands for. It's commonly called "Triple A."
Can't tell you how many times Susette and I have had to call AAA for various car problems? It gives you peace of mind to know that you have a friend in the business. Certainly, worth the low annual fee you pay.
Recently while doing my morning SOAP journaling (S-scripture; O-objective; A-application; P-prayer). Today was my 3,797th day of journaling. Anyway, back on September 15th I came across the Charles Stanley devotion "In Jesus' Name" which is where another AAA comes into play.
BTW Dr. Stanley just handed in his resignation as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA after 50 years. Doesn't mean he is retiring. He still has his "In Touch Ministry" on television and will continue to write. So far Stanley has published 195 books.
Anyway, back to this particular devotion I want to share with you. Stanley begins by asking: "Why do we end our prayers saying, 'in Jesus' name we pray." Never wondered why even though I've closed almost all of my prayers that way.
Stanley adds: "Praying in Jesus' name represents the foundation of our prayer to and relationship with the Father. "
Now here come the three A's and I'm not talking about the Triple A automobile group.
"When we pray in His name, we pray according to:
A number 1: Jesus' Access- We have access to Jesus through our prayers in His Name because 'His death atoned for our sins and ushered us into the presence of the Father. We can approach the Lord because He made us spiritually alive and able to interact with Him.
A number two: Jesus' Advocacy- Like an appointed court attorney, Christ represents us wisely and intercedes for us before the Father in a way that honors Him and blesses us. This isn't a blank check, but a call for His wise leadership.
A number three: Jesus' Authority- Our prayers are influential because Christ's sovereign power is at work on our behalf. The voice that spoke the universe into existence provides the way for His will to be carried out in our lives."
So, we pray in Jesus' name because it represents His access, advocacy and authority. There is wisdom and power in your prayers because He carries them to the Father.
In John 14:12 Jesus says to his disciples: The truth is, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done and even greater works."
Whoa! What's up with that? Is Jesus telling his disciples that they can do even greater things than He has done? The Quest Study Bible explains: "Jesus is not saying that His disciples would do greater works---after all, raising the dead is about as amazing as you can get. Rather the disciples, working in the power of the Holy Spirit, would carry the Good News of God's Kingdom out of Palestine and into the whole world."
QSB goes on to elaborate on this 'asking anything business:' "When Jesus says we can ask for anything we must remember that our asking must be in his name." Oh ho! There it is. That's the deal. Ending with "in Jesus' name we pray" puts a capper on it. It pulls the whole prayer together. We are not just doing something for ourselves. We are doing, saying and praying in Jesus' name so we know that it falls within His will. That way we are assured that his access, advocacy and authority will work on our behalf. It gives our prayer meaning. It puts us on the winning team.
QSB explains it this way: "When Jesus says we can ask for anything we must remember that our asking must be in His name---that is according to God's character and will. God will not grant requests contrary to His nature or His will, and we cannot use His Name as a magic formula to fulfill our selfish desires. If we are sincerely following God and seeking to do His will, then our requests will be in line with what He wants, and He will grant them."
In John 15:16-17 Jesus tells his disciples: You didn't choose me, I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask using my name. I command you to love one another.
QSB: "Jesus made the first choice---to love and to die for us---to invite us to live with Him forever. We make the next choice---to accept or reject His offer. Without His choice we would have no choice to make."
So, when we pray and close with "In Jesus' Name we pray" that is saying that we want all that we offered up in prayer to be within His will. Then we can rest assured that AAA will be put into motion. Jesus will fulfill his part of the deal through His access, advocacy and authority.
Prayer: Please help us to be aware of your will as we lift up each prayer in Jesus' name. Amen!