Why pray "in Jesus' Name"?

February 16, 2016

 

 

 

 

May I take you on a bit of an adventure? Before you answer that, please commit to me that you will read this blog post from start to finish. If you read only the first parts of it, you will miss the whole picture. So, before you say yes to my offer of a spiritual adventure contained in the words of this post, please commit to the 5-10 minutes it will take to read it from start to finish in one sitting.

 

 

 

 

Some know Him as Yeshua. Most know Him as Jesus. Organized religion labeled Him as "The Christ". All who believe in Him use a practice known as "Praying in His Name". But, what exactly does it mean and does it  really matter? Is it just religious jargon? Does it really make a difference?

 

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 

 

While I understand that this is referring to a prayer of repentance, and we often do not hear people pray a prayer of repentance "in the name of Jesus"; it does illustrate an important point. If one is "in His name" one has been renamed, one walks under a banner with His name on it, one goes to battle in His name and with His code of arms, one follows His directions, one knows Him as commander and chief, one follows His guidance, etc. Also, at the time Chronicles was written, the name of Jesus had not yet been heard in reference to a Messiah. But the name of God had been and this scripture does not say "if my people will pray in my name". Instead it identifies that they are "called by", or are in His name. ow does one take the Name of God? It's simple, a Bride customarily takes her husbands name. Perhaps not in all cultures, but in many, and the culture of Israel being one of them. The B'rit Hadashah (New Testament) often refers to the Bride.....but that is for another blog post.

 

I want to be careful not to offend with what I am about to write and I hope each reader will study this out fully for themselves and not simply trust anything I say. This is certainly not new revelation and I certainly am not the first to propose this. It struck me as revelation when in Bible college several years ago, when it was presented to me while preparing to write a paper. I'd been born again for many years, had held several positions in churches (youth pastor, worship director, associate pastor, senior pastor, evangelist, etc) before my opportunity to attend Bible college presented itself. Well, actually it presented itself years before but I didn't know how to step into the prophetic vision God had given me. That was still to come and is yet another blog post altogether. :-)

 

Now back to my topic....

Over the years, I have seen something which on the surface is minor, except to those who have been doing it for years and seen little to no results yielded by their efforts. For them, it seems as though they struggle with self identity issues, a lack of faith, a bad relationship with God, or even that He just doesn't answer their prayers. Some lose faith, others even resort to an almost begging approach to prayer because they simply don't see the things they pray about come to pass, even as hard as they pray or as they pray harder still. Then there are those who just leave their faith and either fall into deep self condemnation and/or bitterness toward God. There are certainly many other variables, I highlight these only for the sake of consideration, as we have probably all known people in each of these categories. All of these folks prayed "in Jesus' Name", So it pains me to see them struggle in their prayer life. So, I have finally felt it time to say something which I believe will encourage them and possibly lead them to seeing many of their prayers answered. At least all those prayers which are not of a selfish nature or not according to God's path for them. Please remember though, He DOES has a plan for you. Jeremiah 29:11 (WEB)  "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” says YHVH (spelled as it originally was before the letter "W" existed), “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future". (emphasis mine)

 

On the flip side of the same coin, I have seen many who have been used to do great and mighty works (including raising the dead) who closed or opened the prayer saying "in the Name of Jesus" or in "Jesus' name". So, I am not advising against the use of these....... I just want us to see that how we apply the use of His Name matters more than the applying itself.

 

Though a bit lengthy compared to my usaual blog posts, this will be a very condensed version of the many years in which God has spoken with me about the use of the Name of His Son.

 

My concern is when the use of phrases like "in the name of Jesus" or "in Jesus name" become more habit than help. Now, before anyone gets the idea that I am saying don't say them, let me once again tell you THAT is definitely NOT what I am saying. So please dismiss this misconception right away. It, however, almost appears that to some it is like the finish of a magic trick and has become their "abracadabra" or "hocus pocus".

 

May we begin with an illustration? Did you know that many in occult circles they will use similar tactics? So, I am not making light of the use of the "name of Jesus" in any way. His Name far more powerful than the use of occultic conjuring! To the contrary my point in bringing up of this practice is essentially good. The concern is the posture from which many use His Name. If the enemy guides his followers to pray "in the name of ......." whatever spirit they intend to conjure, then this surely points to a power which comes by that name. But, the enemy is a imitator, not an innovator. He is also a glory seeker, because he lost what glory he had in the rebellion and all of his heavenly authority has been removed. Further, the only authority he has is in the earth realm and that only because Adam forfeited it to him in his traitorous fall. The difference is, one cannot be "in that name" (the name of the enemy) because it is a defeated authority. Yeshua (Jesus) took his authority by defeating him and taking back the keys to death, hell and the grave. The enemy's name nor the enemy himself are neither a dwelling place, a refuge or a fortress as is our God (Psalm 91). The followers of dark entities cannot run into them as we can our YHVH as in Psalms 61:3 & Proverbs 18:10. To further illustrate this, let me point out that Lucifer is a created being and Abba God is not. YHVH God is not just a person, He is a location, a dwelling place, not just a name or self exalted figurehead. He is omnipresent therefore no matter where one goes, He is all around them - Psalm 139:8 "If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. (KJV)" 


The enemy can only be in one place at one time, though he has spies everywhere, he is NOT omnipresent. Again, He is not a dwelling place as is our God. 
    
    The New Testament (KJV) puts it like this:
        

  • Romans_8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit

  • Romans_12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 

  • 1 Corinthians_1:30  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 

  • Ephesians_2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 

  • Ephesians_2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 

  • 2 Corinthians_5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 

 

There are about 80 references to the phrase "in Christ" in the New Testament. I have listed several above. but for the sake of time I will not attempt to place all of them into context. It is noteworthy though, to say, that not all 80 refer to Christ as a dwelling place. Some speak of faith in Him. Others of preaching "in Christ"; this could be made to appear to support what I am about to say, but it would be a stretch and I simply do not want to stretch the Word to meet my ideals. I want the Word to stand on it's own two feet as it is well capable of doing and frankly, it does not need me to assist in this in the least!

 

Let's focus on just 2 of these and see where it leads.....

  • 2Corinthains_5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 

  • Ephesians_2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

 

In the passage from 2 Corinthians we clearly see that one who not only recognizes Yeshua Ha'Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah) (who was later called "Jesus the Christ" by the council at Nicaea) AND allows Him to be LORD of their life then they are "in Christ". He becomes a dwelling place. It is a supernatural working of the Spirit and cannot be explained by the sciences, but it is a very real and provable action which occurs instantly upon one accepting Him as both Saviour and LORD. They are made new because they are infused with the completed workings of the Cross of Redemption. This becomes a 2 way synergistic work as noted by the Apostle Shaul (Paul) in Galatians 2:20 (KJV) - "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me".  Perhaps in the future, we will examine this more closely and really dig into just how synergistic this relationship is. But for now, I need to move on.

 

Ephesians_2:6  "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (KJV). This is quite the mystery to the world. In fact, it is quite the mystery to many in the church as well. It is a sad day when we think the God of the universe who created all things (and let's not forget that the Apostle John reveals in his gospel that it was Jesus who created all that was created) cannot make it so that we dwell both on earth and in Heavenly Places simultaneously. So many in the church simply explain it away as well "we'll live in heavenly places some day". So to them this is a foreshadowing of what is to come. WOW! What a great gift and they simply throw it away as if it were trite. It is HUGE..... Read the 5 preceding verses and you see that Shaul (Paul) explains that even while we were dead in sin, God made it possible for us to be resurrected into the life in Christ and it is "in Christ" that Abba YHVH has made us to sit in heavenly places!! We live here on earth now, but we simultaneously dwell In Christ who is seated on the right hand of the Father making intercession for us night and day. So if He is seated next to God and we are seated "in Him" then we dwell in the secret place of the most High God, we abide in the shadow of the Almighty and we can say He is my refuge and my fortress.....(Psalms 91:1-2). Jump down to verse 9 "Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;"

 

Need further proof that believers "dwell in Christ"? I'll offer just one more though there are many - satan tempted Yeshua the Christ using Psalm 91:11 & 12. Many preach this as though Psalm 91 was speaking to Jesus as when David wrote in Psalms_110:1  "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (KJV) While this is possible, and likely, we still need to understand the Bible must be taken as a whole and not take them out of context. Considering this verse to be about Christ, then let us also consider Romans 2:11 (WEB)  "For there is no partiality with God." Or (CEV)  "God doesn't have any favorites!" If it is for Yeshua (Jesus) then it is also for us because we are not only heirs but joint heirs meaning we inherit equal shares of everything Christ has as His inheritance. There are MANY scriptures supporting this but I will highlight Romans 8:17  "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." This does refer to our future glorified bodies at the end; but, prior to that the writer is clearly explaining that if we are children of God then we are also heirs and in this case joint heirs having equal share. Not in His glory but in His inheritance. Thus reference to glorified bodies, so no one would mistakenly think they will be exalted to the same level as Christ in glorification.

 

Okay, so enough academics for now. May I just be real and expose my heart for a moment? None of us like to be vulnerable. None of us like to have sensitive areas of our lives exposed for others to see. None of us like correction or to be asked to examine pet doctrines or favorite teachings. But if the body is to move into understanding their place "in Christ" someone has to ask them to do these very things. So, I am going to cautiously pose my next questions. Is it possible that we need to understand our position in Christ more than we need to invoke His name? Now, BEFORE you answer  this in your own mind, let me add to it this question: Are we possibly invoking that Name as if it is our personal end all be all like the magician's "abracadabra"? I don't mean to sound like I am belittling the use of His Name. Please don't take it that way. If you continue reading you'll see I mean quite the opposite.  

 

You see, when a prince or princess goes somewhere there is always an attache' who has gone before them to announce their presence. This then is two fold. On the one it is that Yeshua became the first fruits of many brethren. Which made us joint-heirs in His kingdom so that then as it says in Ephesians 1:3 "we are blessed with all spiritual blessings.....'in Christ'" so we have heavenly coffers from which to get those blessings. The KJV says that those blessings are "in heavenly places". So there is a "treasure room" of sorts filled with every blessing we will ever need. We have access to them because we are "in Christ" not because we invoke His name like an "abracadabra". On the other hand, His Name is the name by which every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. Which does indeed denote a tremendous authority. In fact we know that all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him and that He is to rule by that authority until after He completes the task for legally taking back the title deed to this earthly physical realm from satan. This is another full topic of it's own so suffice it to say here, He will then give that authority back to the Father and we will all reign with Him as the joint-heirs that we are.

 

My personal conclusion with these questions I've posed is simple. Just as the simplicity of the gospel is often overlooked, so is the answer to these questions. Know who you are in Christ. Discover who He is in you. Get intimate with God and don't have a surface only "hi, how are you today" kind of superficial relationship with Him. Get so close to Him you are conscious....aware of His presence every moment of every day. Climb so high in Him and so deep into His word that you know His heart better than any person you've ever known. As you do, you'll become aware of when you need to invoke His name and it will be with purpose. Not out of habit or religious obligation/training. Get to a place where your kindness and compassion move you and then you will be like the Christ you are in and who is in you. As a believer, seek to allow Him to live through you so thoroughly that it is not boldness which causes you to be WILLING to pray for someone in public, but the deeply rooted love of God that MOVES you to pray for them in their moment of need, without shame or fear. I am not railing against boldness, only pointing out it is one way, not the way and we must all learn to discern which is appropriate in the moment. We KNOW Yeshua was both bold and moved by compassion. But when meeting the needs of the people, scripture always refers to His being moved by compassion for them. All too often, we get so caught up in showing the world that Jesus is in us, we can lose sight of making sure we stay in Him. Intimacy is His heart. Intimacy with Him is what died in Adam that day in the garden. The life of God drained from him and only the last Adam Yeshua (Jesus) was capable of restoring it. In this age we do need to show the world that Jesus is the one working the miracles through us; but it isn't a here and there, once in a while deal because we fasted enough that week or prayed hard enough for the miracle or even that we invoked His name at just the right place or time in the prayer. It will happen regularly and often when we are "in Christ" so fully and completely that miracles, signs and wonders have no choice but to manifest. This is why 2 Corinthians 1:20 says (KJV) "For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen (or So Be It), unto the glory of God by us." {Emphasis and parenthetical insert mine}

 

In Him? In whom? IN CHRIST! 

 

I truly pray that I have not offended anyone by this. My heart is to see the Bride of Christ become that warrior she is supposed to be. Naphtali has such a revelation of the Bride and we have discussed at length how Yeshua is a man's man. She and I are in complete agreement on the following - He is complete and secure, whole and confident. He doesn't need or want a helpless, defenseless bride. He wants a woman of influence. Someone of character and dignity, poise and elegance, beauty and grace. BUT also a woman who knows how to hold her own while the bridegroom is away preparing their home. One who can carry on the vision He has for His household while He is away on kingdom business. One who can justly rule and judge His kingdom when needed after the wedding. How can He have any of this until we are so intimately tuned into His heart that we don't have to spend days on our faces fasting and crying out to find the answer to a small need?? Unfortunately THIS is the bride many in the church have become. Due to having not spent enough time just dwelling, abiding, living in His presence we just are not ready to walk in the fullness of the blessings we have. So we resort to religious habits or invocations which result in little or no change. May Abba bring His full heart to us. May He drive us into intimacy by creating a hunger so deep and so full that it can never be totally quenched on this side of eternity; but drive us as close as we can get nonetheless.

 

Please dig this out for yourself. I've barely touched the surface in this blog entry. This is so vital to seeing the releasing everything He has for us in this season. Entire continents may be opened to His full blessing if the right person gets so intimately acquainted with Him that they cannot help but see His miraculous blessings manifest in their everyday lives; living, working, just being.
 

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