Friday, May 18, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 73

Answered Prayers continued...

It is the promise of Jesus, that whatever we ask in faith, we will receive. As such, it is incumbent upon us to spend a little more time on the topic of faith, because faith and prayer are interconnected, intertwined, and interdependent.

Through faith we received salvation, through faith we are the children of God, through faith we have received the Holy Spirit, and trough faith we receive answers to our prayers. Seeing as faith is such an important aspect in our spiritual walk, the next obvious question is: what is faith?

Yes, we’ve discussed it in previous teachings, but one can never be too acquainted with the definition of faith, or be reminded of the need for faith often enough.

There are many lessons and foundational truths within the word of God which must be brought to our remembrance continuously throughout our journey here on earth. As it is well known by now, man is an exceedingly forgetful creature, and unless certain truths are brought to our remembrance constantly we have the tendency and predisposition to forget them, and allow them to be covered over with the passing of time.

Faith is believing God at His word, trusting in Him, and entrusting ourselves to Him, knowing that He will care for us, protect us, guide us, and answer our prayers when we come before Him.

Faith is a nonnegotiable component of prayer, something we must possess in order for our prayers to be answered, and not just heard.

Another way we can ensure that our prayers will be answered when we pray to God the Father is to pray them in the name of Jesus. There is power, there is authority, and there is supremacy in the name Jesus.

John 14:13-14, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father might be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Pray with faith, pray with expectancy, and pray in Jesus’ name. Although all these things are true and valid, what we must keep in mind is that praying in Jesus’ name is not a magic formula. It is not something we say at the beginning or at the end of a prayer as some sort of incantation.

In order to understand the power and authority we have when praying in the name of Jesus, we must understand what the name of Jesus means, beyond the words themselves.

If we pray in the name of Jesus, yet do not realize what it is we are actually doing, or what it truly means, we aren’t really praying in His name, but just repeating some words we heard in church.

We all know that a name expresses the nature, and character of an individual. When I speak someone’s name, in my mind’s eye, I see an image of the person I am talking about; I know them as individuals, specific and unique.

I see a different image when I speak the name Daniel, than when I speak the name Sergiu. Both are my brothers, but they are both individual and unique, and their nature and character is attached to, and is expressed in their name.

When we pray to God in the name of Jesus, we must know and see the person of Jesus, the identity of Him, the nature of Him, and the character of Him. When we pray in Jesus’ name it must be more than saying ‘Jesus’ aloud, it must be with the full knowledge of who He is, and what He can do.

If Jesus is not Lord of your life, if He is not King and Savior, if He is not your everything, the culmination of all you desire, then praying in His name will not have the desired effect. In order for our prayers in Jesus’ name to be effective, we must first and foremost know Jesus!

Philippians 2:5-10, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Paul was a man who knew Jesus, knew what Jesus had done, knew the sacrifice Jesus had made, knew the death He had suffered, and that God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.

Paul knew who Jesus was, and He knew the nature of Christ.

I find it strange and simultaneously off-putting that so many people purport to serve Jesus without ever really knowing Him. There are so many things attributed to Jesus which He never said, so many liberties we are told He encouraged which He never practiced, and so many avenues pursued which He rebuked, that one wonders how many people truly know Jesus in today’s day and age?

When will we learn, that encouraging, and pursuing things which Jesus never endorsed, and attributing certain practices He never practiced to Him is nothing less than fashioning our own version of Jesus which is by no means the real one?

When will we learn there is only one Christ, one Savior, one Jesus, and we must receive Him as He is, without attempting to remake Him in our own image?

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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