Weekly news + a fresh look at our flippant use of the phrase “in Jesus’ name”
IT’S NEWS TO ME
SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE
In Jesus’ Name
In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf;
for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.
Things We Say
As Jesus purges His Church, He will remove all our idols—the things that prevent us from entering into genuine worship. This includes the things we routinely do without understanding what we’re doing. Sometimes they are the words we flippantly use, also without understanding. The title of today’s article is an example. In today’s verse Jesus is telling His disciples (and us) the general pattern for our prayers. We are to pray to the Father, but in the name of Jesus, the Son. Jesus doesn’t have to ask the Father on our behalf because the Father loves us as much as He loved His Son. Therefore, we can boldly go directly to Him (Heb. 4:16).
In Your Name?
Too often, we finish our prayers with “in Jesus’ name” as though this magical phrase will guarantee that our prayer will be heard. Some people end their prayers with, “in Your name,” which, to me, makes no sense. Since we are to pray to the Father, why would you pray to Him in His own name? Jesus said to pray in His name. If they are praying to Jesus, there is no reason to invoke His own name if you can go directly to Him in prayer.
One with Christ
So, what is the “correct” way to pray and the meaning behind it? In the context of John 16 and 17, I believe Jesus is saying that when we have become one with Christ, our thoughts and desires will be His thoughts and desires. Therefore, when we come to the Father, it’s as though Jesus Himself is making the petition. In Jesus’ name is not so much something to say at the end of our prayers as it is the attitude behind the prayer itself. It’s like saying, “This prayer isn’t just mine, it’s from Jesus, too.
Jesus is Our Life
As long as we see Jesus as separate from ourselves, we will never enter into the oneness Jesus desires. If we see Him as our helper instead of our life, we will remain separated, and “in Jesus’ name” will be nothing more than a phrase to add at the end of our prayers. You may be thinking that this oneness Jesus desires is only possible in heaven. Since v. 26 (above) starts with “In that day,” you may be convinced that He is talking about some time in the future, when we’re in heaven. It’s true that at Christ’s second coming, these earthly bodies will instantly be conformed to the body of Christ’s glory. Then we will be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. Thus, in the ages to come, God will show the exceeding riches of His grace, in kindness to us, in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:7). Yet, we can enter into the oneness of John 17 right now as we embrace Christ’s life within us.
If this oneness seems far away, it is probably because you have yet to be identified with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The old “you” has not yet died, and you have yet to enter into the resurrected life of Christ. You know that Jesus lives in you, but only as a concept, not a reality. You are still running the show, enlisting Jesus’ help from time to time.
Granted, there is a lot more to the story than what I have presented here. There is power and authority in Jesus’ name, but there’s a reason why that power and authority are seldom seen today. I’m convinced that our misunderstanding of “in Jesus’ name” is largely to blame.
Not I But Christ
I hope that you now have a new perspective on praying in Jesus’ name, and that you will desire the oneness that is available. My latest book, Not I But Christ is all about this oneness. If this is your heart’s desire, contact me at [email protected] and I will send you a copy for $8 including shipping.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
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