“In that day you will ask in My name…” (John 16:26).
Periodically, I am overcome with the wonder of prayer, that I have access to the throne room of the universe where I can commune face to face, one on one, with the Creator of everything that ever has been or ever will be created. Though, for me this access is free, it came at a tremendous cost, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son.
At one time, sin barred my way into this holy place. Through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the Cross of Calvary, He made atonement for my sin. Now, through faith in Christ and His work on my behalf, by grace, I have been forgiven of my sin and the door into my Father’s presence is open. For my Heavenly Father made His Son, who knew no sin to be made sin on my behalf, so that I might now stand before Him righteous, in the righteousness of Christ (II Corinthians 5:21).
To obtain access into the presence of Almighty God, I had to become a name dropper. “Father, I come in Jesus’ name.”
In every verse that instructs me pray in Jesus’ name, the primary meaning of the word “name” is authority. When I come into the presence of God in Jesus’ name, it is a confession on my part that I understand that I have access and am being heard only because of the marvelous, wonderful, and amazing grace of God that is mine through Jesus, His Son. Therefore, I come humbly and reverently because in and of my own efforts I do not belong here.
Over my fifty-two-year sojourn with Jesus, I have often been taken back at the flippancy that some exhibit when they use the name of Jesus. Some seem to have turned “In Jesus’ Name” into a spiritual “Abracadabra.” A magic word that when tacked on the end of a prayer, forces the hand of God to act on their behalf.
When the Third Commandment exhorts us not to take the Name of the Lord our God in vain, the primary meaning of the command is not that of not using God’s name as a swear word, even though that greatly cheapens God’s name. Not taking the Lord’s name in vain is understanding that our living and our speaking are to be consistent with our claims to be children of God in Christ. To claim to be a Christian and yet live and speak as a non-Christian, is to take God’s name in vain, to cheapen His name before a watching world.
This also needs to be understood when we use the name of Jesus to begin and also to end our prayers. Here, we understand that we are standing on holy ground, not by any merit of our own but only by the merit of Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf. May we treat this privilege with honor and reverence.
Though there is not closer friend that one could have than the Lord Jesus, we must always remember and be guided by the fact that He is Almighty God, our Savior. He is not the man upstairs; He is not our buddy.
Remember that Christ alone has made a way for us to enter the Holy of Holies. The way? Through the veil of His own torn flesh (Hebrews 10:20). Let us therefore, never take for granted the wonderful privilege of prayer.