Devotional Thoughts on Prayer
What Does It Mean to Pray IN JESUS' NAME?
[Based, in part, on a series of Prayer Meeting messages by Pastor Parsons]
"Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name,
He will give it you" (John 16:23).
". . .I pray all these things in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ because He is my personal Saviour and my sovereign Lord and I belong to Him. As God looks at me, He does not see me in my own righteousness which is nothing but filthy rags, but He sees me IN CHRIST, clothed in His perfect righteousness (2 Cor. 1:30). Therefore I can come boldly to the throne of grace because my Great High Priest has, by His death on the cross, made a new and living way for me to come to the Father and no man comes to the Father except through Christ. Therefore I come boldly with full assurance of faith and without fear, expecting God to answer my prayers, not because of me but because of Christ."
"I want this prayer to be answered not in a way that will please me but in a way that will please Christ; not according to what I want but according to what Christ wants; not that my will might be done but only His will; not that I might be glorified but that Christ will be glorified. Thus I'm asking all these things in the Name of Christ, because of all that He is and all that He has done. I seek to pray these things in complete agreement and absolute harmony with the Word of Christ and the will of Christ (1 John 5:14-15). I therefore do not want this prayer to be contrary to the Word of God or contrary to what the Living God wants for His own glory and for my life. If anything that I have asked is not what Christ wants, then I do not want it either."
"I'm expecting God to be God and to answer this prayer--not because I'm anything, but because the riches of God's grace have been poured out upon me (John 1:16-17). Thus, I'm not praying for selfish reasons (James 4:3), but only that Christ will be exalted and magnified and glorified both now and forever (Phil. 1:20-21). Therefore I will gladly keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight (1 John 3:22), His Spirit enabling me. As I abide in Christ and as His words abide in me, I know that I can ask anything and the Father will bring it to pass (John 15:7). And so I pray in Jesus' Name and in His authority and for His sake, because of Him, the One who loved me and gave Himself for me, my Lord and my God, Amen! So be it!"
The expression "in Jesus Name" was not given as a magical formula to be thoughtlessly tacked onto the end of our prayers. Our Lord warned us against using vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7). We are to pray with the understanding (1 Cor. 14:15). May God open the eyes of our understanding to our unique and precious relationship with and in the Son of God!
How Is Your Prayer Life?
No Christian is greater than his prayer life. The church has many organizers, but few agonizers (see Col. 4:12); many who pay, but few who pray; many resters, but few wrestlers; many who are enterprising, but few who are interceding. People who are not praying are playing. The secret of praying is praying in secret (Matt. 6:5-8). A worldly Christian will stop praying and a praying Christian will stop worldliness. People who do not come apart a while (Mark 6:31) will soon come apart. Tithes may build a church, but tears will give it life (Acts 20:19,31). This is the difference between today's church and the early church. When they prayed the place was shaken (Acts 4:31). In the matter of effective praying never have so many left so much to so few. Brethren, let us pray! See James 5:16 and Ephesians 6:18.
They Ought To Be Revived Again!
I'm just a little lad of ten
And know that I've been born again.
I go to church with joy anew,
To be with those who love Him true.
I went to pray with those I love,
To get God's blessing from above.
I don't know why so few were there;
I thought I'd see them all at prayer.
My heart sunk down, my joy went out,
Because my friends were not about.
I heard them say they knew my God,
But now I wonder where they trod.
It seems to me a lad of ten,
That what they say is just pretend.
--George Parsons (1/13/66)
PRAYER TAKES TIME! TAKE TIME TO PRAY!
I asked for strength that I might achieve;
He made me weak that I might obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given grace that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I received nothing that I asked for, all that I hoped for,
My prayer was answered!
My Approach To God
1) I approach God with a sense of DUTY. "Men ought always to pray (Luke 18:1). It is my moral obligation to maintain constant contact and communication with my God.
2) I approach God with a sense of DELIGHT. Consider the example of Anna in Luke 2. She had a rich and fulfilling life. To her prayer was a delight and a joy.
3) I approach God with a sense of PRIVILEGE. What a privilege it is to say, "My Father" and to come before the throne of grace (not the throne of judgment).
4) I approach God with an attitude of HUMILITY (a bowed head and a bended knee). I am in the presence of God. I have no inherent right to be before God. It is only by God's grace that I come.
5) I approach God with CONFIDENCE (Heb. 10:19). Boldly I approach (Heb. 4:16)! I know I can come! I know my sins are forever taken care of (Heb. 10:17)! I know I am fully accepted in Christ (Eph. 1:6)! I know I am dressed in His righteousness, faultless to stand before His throne!
6) I approach God with REVERENCE (see the example of Christ in John 17:11,25). May I never forget Who it is that I am talking to!
7) I approach God with THANKSGIVING (Col. 4:2). Whenever you go to prayer, make sure you take thanksgiving with you!
8) I approach God FERVENTLY (with intensity and energy and earnestness). See Col. 4:2,12.
9) I approach God with ALERTNESS. I must stay away and stay mentally alert (Col. 4:2). Watch and pray!
10) I approach God in SUBMISSION. God is not a "genie" to whom we give our demands and tell him what we want. "Not my will but THINE be done!" May the submissive attitude of our heart be this: "I delight to do Thy will, O God" (Psalm 40:8).
* * * * *
"When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words than thy words without heart"--John Bunyan.
* * * * *
"Prayer is not to inform God or to move Him unwillingly to have mercy, as if, like some proud prince, He requires a certain amount of recognition of His greatness as the price of His favor; but to fit our hearts by conscious need and true desire and dependence to receive the gift which He is ever willing to give, but we are not always ready to receive." --Alexander Maclaren
If the Walls Could Speak
Years ago an aged Scot, lying on his deathbed, with his loved ones gathered round him, whispered, "Could these walls speak they would tell you what sweet communion I have had here with my God." If the walls of your room could speak, what would they say?
* * * *
Seven days without prayer makes one weak!
There is no excuse for not talking to God except SIN!
|The Middletown Bible Church
349 East Street
Middletown, CT 06457