This post is part of Five Minute Friday – The word for today is NAME.
“In the name of Jesus! In the name of Jesus!”
I hear it often, sometimes with loud and exclamatory expression. It bothers me just a bit and not because the name of Jesus is used, but in the way it is used. Sometimes I think people throw that phrase out into the universe as if God were some kind of genie in a bottle. Not the case.
When we are encouraged to pray in the Name of Jesus, we must pray in the context or fullness of who Jesus is. In the Bible, Abram’s name was changed (by God) to Abraham. Abram means exalted father. Abraham means father of many. Abram’s wife was named Sarai which means contentious our argumentative. God changed her name to Sarah meaning mother of nations or princess over nations.
Simon is Peter’s birth name. Simon received revelation from God that Jesus was the Messiah. After that, Jesus called him, Peter (meaning rock.) The foundational principle (or rock) on which the church is built is to confess that Jesus is the Messiah. All of these people had names that reflected what God saw in them. Their new names became an identity changer.
The bottom line is we are not to use our Lord’s name to invoke God to do something like an all-powerful genie. We are to pray in the context of who Jesus is and what His name reflects or exhibits in our life. As we become more like Jesus, the prayers we lift to God in the Name of Jesus will be those of a righteous man or woman and will avail (benefit, reward, profit) much.
Not surprisingly, those who are more like Jesus do not have to emphatically shout, “In the name of Jesus” to have their prayers answered.