Glorify Your Name

I pray in Jesus’ name.  I make sure I end prayer ‘In Jesus’ name’ like it was the key to getting my prayers heard.  Like it was the secret code to the throne of heaven.  Praying in Jesus’ name, my prayers are remarkably transformed from mere mental ramblings to a weapon wielded in the spiritual realm.  Praying in Jesus’ name places the period at the end of my dialogue with God.  Praying ‘in Jesus’ name’ is my conscious acknowledgment that the sole avenue to even addressing a Sovereign and Tremendous God is because of the righteousness and justification we have in Christ.  And that is so true.  But prayer is oh, so much more than that!

The most common definition I hear of what prayer is goes something like this: “It’s communicating with God. We wouldn’t be able to foster an intimate relationship if we didn’t talk to our best friend on a regular basis. It’s our way of speaking to God and the Bible is when God speaks to us. We need to pray so we can see our prayers answered to strengthen our faith.”  And so on.  And what a blessed privilege it is to be able to pray and address a Holy God as our Heavenly Father!  But prayer was not meant to be a self-centered exercise.  In fact, prayer isn’t about us at all.  In fact, I think I am missing the deeper meaning of “praying in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”.  It actually makes my heart race as I ponder this.

I’ve started reading Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name by Bryan Chapell.  He says:

Throughout the Bible persons use the name of God to indicate that fulfilling his purposes is their highest priority.  All that is done in God’s name is for his glory.

He goes on to mention Abraham calling on the name of the Lord, OT people going to battle fighting in His name, prophets, priests and kings speaking, acting, ministering ‘in the name of the Lord’.  

When God’s people use his name, they indicate that they are seeking to bring honor to him. Whoever claims God’s name declares the intention to serve his purposes.

Then he continues into the NT examples mentioning the Lord Jesus coming ‘in the name of the Lord’, “demons are cast out, miracles performed”, churches established, gathered, and grown in His name.

To do anything in the Lord’s name means to do it for his purposes.  When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are petitioning God to bring glory to Jesus and we are asking for his will to be done in everything so that he will be honored above all.  Prayers in Jesus’ name are enveloped with concern that he be represented, blessed, and glorified.  By appealing to Jesus’ name, we surrender our prayers to his purposes.  This means that, while we should present many kinds of petitions to God, a prayer offered in Jesus’ name ultimately requests his desires.

Consider Jesus’ prayer: “Father, glorify Thy Name.”  “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name.”

That’s what prayer is all about.  Scotty Smith remarks, “What a novel idea…prayer as a means of becoming more preoccupied with the beauty of Jesus’ name than paralyzed by the burden of our needs!” As Calvin Miller says, “The first word of my prayer should be Jesus.”  

Yes, Lord Jesus. Glorify Your Name.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jen
    Aug 11, 2008 @ 17:40:20

    Julie…Yet another book you’ve made me add to my wishlist! 🙂

    Very convicting post…I love the Scotty Smith quote.


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