We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine


Praying in Jesus’ Name

What does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name? The third chapter of Colossians sheds some light on what often becomes a cliché phrase thoughtlessly tacked on to the end of a prayer. To pray in Jesus’ name simply means that you are requesting to represent Jesus, just as an ambassador, or representative, of the US meets with leaders from other countries in the name of our president and our country. In the Old Testament a message would be delivered with the words: “I come in the name of the king,” meaning “I come as a representative for the king.”

In the English Standard Version (ESV) we read from Colossians 3:17:

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Or in the New Living Translation:

“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”

To pray in Jesus’ name is to say that you desire to represent Jesus. If you are praying for a restored marriage, you are asking God to give you the strength to represent Jesus as you pursue reconciliation. If you are praying for the changed heart of a teen, you are asking God to help you represent Christ in your outreach to him/her.

It’s time to drop the rehearsed ending, and move it to the front. When we come to the throne of grace requesting the privilege of representing our Lord from the onset, it may shift our emphasis from our needs to His desires. And if you need a new ending, how about, “God, thank you for listening to me this morning.”

Published in: on November 25, 2010 at 3:12 am  Leave a Comment  

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