What does it mean to pray “in Jesus name”? What is the significance of this phrase in our prayers?
Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen. Your smell has preceded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: “I want to see the king.” Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, “Jesus. I come in the name of Jesus.” At the name of Jesus, as if by magic, the palace comes alive. The guards snap to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on, and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway into the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms.
The name of Jesus gives my prayers royal access. They get through. Jesus isn’t just the Savior of my soul. He’s also the Savior of my prayers. My prayers come before the throne of God as the prayers of Jesus. “Asking in Jesus’ name” isn’t another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect.
Jesus’ seal not only guarantees that my package gets through, but it also transforms the package. Paul says in Romans 8:26, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
Paul E. Miller. A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World (Kindle Locations 1798-1809). NAVPress – A. Kindle Edition.
Welcome to The Pilgrim Inn! This is the place of conversation, reflection and growth. For a time, this blog was home to the writings and thoughts of Andrey alone. Then, Andrey opened a different blog that focused more on the issues that he wants to be writing about. During this season, the tables sat empty, collecting dust. But during a weekend mountain retreat filled with coffee, bacon, steak and theology, the idea came up to pull back the dusty curtains and bring a new season of life and light to the place.
We are just a group of guys who love God, love his church, love history, love theology, and all that other good stuff. This is the place where we share our thoughts and experiences from our common journey to the Celestial City. This is that Inn that sits by the side of the road, from who’s windows a warm and inviting light glows. A place of fireside chats, arguments, questions and laughter. A place for weary pilgrims to be equipped, challenged and encouraged. We are glad you stopped by!
This weekend I had the privilege of hearing Aleksey Prokopenko speak on the biblical teaching on God’s providence. The key question that this doctrine addresses is “What is God’s relationship to the universe?”. Prokopenko made a key observation at the outset of the conference: very often tend to grossly oversimplify the issue of God and his purposes. To me, this was a critical point of insight. It is, I think, one of the foundational reasons why so many people, both religious and irreligious, find conversations about a personal God’s relationship to the universe so frustrating, unrealistic, contradictory and even foolish.
Is the God of the New Testament really that different from the God of the Old? This is the claim of many people today. The central idea that was made in the previous post was the fact that, when we read a little more carefully, we see that, in the whole Bible, God is a God of grace. The story of God’s relationship with the Israeli people highlights over and over the central reality of his grace and mercy as the one and only reason for all that they had. This is coupled with the fact that the main command of the Old Testament is not that people obey a long list of moralistic laws and rituals. Rather the heart of God’s message to the people is that he be the central object of their love and affection. Making anything outside of him the object of their worship inevitably sends them tumbling down a destructive life of self centeredness.