PRAYING IN JESUS' NAME! 5/90--A Sequel to "What Is Jesus?" DO 2625
1. (Maria: There are so many verses in the Bible where Jesus says, "If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it" or "Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He will give it you."--Jn.14:14; 15:16. So I was wondering why the Lord's Prayer doesn't say something about Jesus or about asking in His Name?) Because Jesus was praying it! (Maria: Yes, but He was telling the disciples exactly how they should pray, & that's the classic prayer that the Lord knew everybody was going to pray.) Well, He told them in plenty of other places in the Bible to pray in His Name.
2. (Maria: He said, "I & My Father are One" [EDITED: "John 10:30"], so doesn't that perhaps imply that if you know Jesus & you have Him in your heart, whether you're praying "Dear Jesus" or "Dear Father," & whether you actually say, "In Jesus' Name" or not, you are praying in His Name. Most of the teachings in the Scripture seem to indicate that we should pray to the Father in Jesus' Name, pray to God in the Name of Jesus. But since Jesus & the Father are one, I guess it doesn't matter how you address Him, or even how you close your prayer. The most important thing isn't even ending each of our prayers by saying the words "in Jesus' Name."--The most important thing is the spirit of our prayers being in Jesus' name or authority.)
3. What does "in His Name" mean? It means we have the right to come to the Father through Jesus & because of what He's done for us. We're praying in His Name, in His right. (Maria: So the whole point is if you know the Lord, if He's taken away your sins & He's in your heart, then whenever you pray, you are coming in His Name.) Of course! (Maria: No matter what you say, whether you say "Dear God" or "Dear Father" or "Dear Jesus.") If you are His, you are coming in His right, in His Name!
4. It's just like when you want to go see some important person & you want to make an appointment with him, you give the name of some personal friend of yours who is already close to him or has contact with him: "So-&-so has referred & recommended me to you, I'm coming in his name as a friend of a personal friend of yours. I have a right to come to you because of my friendship with him, because he's a personal friend of yours as well." It's like making an appointment in someone's name.
5. Japanese businessmen make a big thing out of personal business cards, & if you have a man's card, that sort of gives you the entr.--Then you have a right to come & see him because he's already given you the invitation in the form of his business card that has his name on it. Business cards are very important in Japan, you don't give them to just anybody unless you've met them & you're personally acquainted with them. When they hand you their business card, that's virtually an invitation to come see them some time.
6. We're coming to God in Jesus' Name because He has already given us the invitation! The Lord has already invited us to pray to Him, to come to the Father in His Name, because they're One. (Maria: In other words, if we already have that relationship with Him, then every time we pray we are coming in His Name. It's not merely a formality depending on certain words, but it's the personal relationship with Him that counts! Do you think that's more what the Lord was talking about when He kept saying to come to the Father in His Name?) Yes!
DEGREES OF FRIENDSHIP!
7. Although we have said in this recent Letter "What Is Jesus?" that He has many names or titles--the Way, Love, Peace, Truth, Life, Light--many things that are symbolic of Him, nevertheless, although He is all of those things & they in a sense are some of His names, there's more to it than that.
8. You may have heard about somebody, or you may have even been introduced to them & met them, but you're not really truly an intimate friend of theirs until you really know their name & you really know just who they are & you can address them by the name their friends call them. Savvy? Their titles are all indications of them & what they're like. They're representations of them, but you're not really intimately acquainted & truly a close personal friend until you are able to really know them & personally call them by name, not just by title or position or whatever. (Maria: You mean the name they go by most commonly.) Yes, their own name.
9. So it's a matter of degree, in a sense. In one case you may have heard about them, that's your first indication of who they actually are. You've heard about them, someone has told you about them or something, but you don't really know them until you become personally acquainted with them, intimately acquainted with them, & know their intimate, personal name that they are known by personally. (Maria: --By their friends.)
10. Getting to know someone is a matter of degree. You hear about them, you are told what they're like & what they are, & finally who they are, then you become acquainted when you're introduced & they receive you & you receive them. Next, if you continue the relationship, you may become personal intimate friends, or even lovers. (Maria: At that stage, you don't use qualities or titles for their name, but you use their first name that their friends call them.) Yes, you then have an intimate personal relationship with them & they've become your personal close friend.
11. Getting to know someone, in a sense, grows by degrees, by stages. You may begin by being told about them, what they're like & who they are, & that knowledge can grow & grow until you've been introduced to them. Then once you've met them there is a period where you learn to know them personally, & later you can grow into a really intimate relationship that is not dependent on what you've heard or learned about them from others.--It's that way with getting to know Jesus: We hear about Him, then we meet Him personally, but as time goes on we grow to really know & love Him intimately.
12. Remember the Samaritans who first heard about Jesus from the woman He met at the well? At first they knew of Him through all the wonderful things she told them about Him. But after they were introduced to Him personally & got to know Him themselves, they told the woman, "Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, & know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the World!"--Jn.4:42.
THE POWER, ADVANTAGES & INTIMACY OF PRAYING IN JESUS' NAME!
13. (Maria: You've said, "Without the Name of Jesus there is no power.--You're to speak in the Name of Jesus, preach in the Name of Jesus, pray in the Name of Jesus, do everything in the Name of Jesus!"--ML #345:15.) Amen, I still believe that! But a lot of people don't reach that stage right away, where they understand that & fully comprehend it & use it & His authority. It may take some period of growth before they truly comprehend that.
14. As you said, many people pray, "Dear Father God" etc., without seeming to really have a personal knowledge or acquaintance with Jesus Himself. Well, I think those who have a personal knowledge of Jesus Himself & fully comprehend the power of His Name have an advantage, & should use it. Whereas those who have a distant, almost superficial knowledge of the Lord, who are always praying "Dear Father God" etc., seem to lack that personal & intimate friendship with Jesus Himself. Remember how that girl Genesis used to pray in Tenerife? That's the way she always prayed, & it always sounded strange to me, like it was a rather distant, formal acquaintance with God, like a lot of the church people have. (See "Freedom from Fear," ML #947)
THE "OUR FATHER," & PRAYING WITH JESUS' AUTHORITY!
15. (Maria: The Disciples said, "Lord, teach us to pray," & He gave them the Lord's Prayer, which is considered the sample prayer that Jesus gave not only to those Disciples, but it's in the Bible as a sample prayer for Christians down through the ages. [EDITED: "Mat.6:9-13"] And it does say "Our Father which art in Heaven," but it doesn't make any mention of the name J-E-S-U-S. So when Jesus was saying, "If you ask anything in My Name, I will give it to you," I wonder if the spirit of what He was saying was more like, "If you know Me personally, you are asking in My Name!"--That if you have a personal relationship with Jesus, of course when you ask something, you are asking in His Name. Maybe that's more of what He meant, rather than that they had to say the actual word "Jesus" in every prayer.)
16. Well, let's face it, the Lord's Prayer, the "Our Father" as the Catholics call it, is prayed by hundreds of millions around the World, many of whom do not even know Him & are not even born again, not even saved! So it's a good basic prayer for everybody who is either getting to know the Lord or maybe has just heard about Him. It's a very very basic prayer that simply outlines how we ought to pray, that these are the basics we should pray for.
17. The Disciples already knew Jesus personally, & that certainly wasn't the only time He taught them to pray. All the verses about praying in His Name & asking in His Name were all times that He was teaching them how to pray. We can't just take that one prayer, the Lord's Prayer, & say that's the only prayer, which is almost what the Catholics have done! They pray it over & over & over again, "thinking they shall be heard for their much speaking" & vain repetitions.--Mat.6:7. Those who really know the Lord, who know Jesus in an intimate way, will pray in His Name, or certainly in His authority & what His Name represents. The "Our Father" was not the only time He taught them how to pray, but He taught them to pray in His Name many times, to cast out devils in His Name & to heal in His Name.--That means with His authority.
18. Even praying the Lord's Prayer, you're praying in His Name. You're praying with the authority that Jesus has given you. It's a basic prayer that's good for children or very childlike Christians, but it's not really that deep a prayer. It's a good prayer to pray as a sample prayer for children or childlike disciples, such as His were then. But you go from there & grow into better or more knowledgeable prayers & more authoritative prayers in which you demonstrate a greater knowledge of the Lord & a more intimate personal relationship with Him.
19. Well, at least I'm that far along where I like to pray in Jesus' Name & say "Dear Jesus." It shows you really know the Lord. (Maria: I agree wholeheartedly with that. And like you say, even praying the "Our Father" prayer is praying in the Name of Jesus, even if you never say the word J-E-S-U-S, right?) What does "in the name of" mean? It literally means "with the authority of." You're praying with the authority of Jesus because you know Him, & you are praying in His Name because He taught you that prayer.
WHY WE SHOULD PRAY IN JESUS' NAME!
20. (Maria: But for us, as the Lord's Family & disciples, we continue to maintain that it's good to use the Name, "Jesus," in our prayers as much as possible.) Definitely!--There's power & intimacy in calling Him by name.
21. Whether you say the word J-E-S-U-S or not, as a born-again child of God you are praying in the authority of Jesus, because He has given you that authority; therefore you are praying in the Name of Jesus! (Maria: But on the other hand, like you say, you like to use the Name, Jesus, as much as possible, you like to say the Name, Jesus. Not that you're bound to always say the name J-E-S-U-S, but it's good to, & as much as possible you do.)
22. If you have heard the Name of Jesus & you know that that's the authority with which you pray, then as far as I'm concerned, of course I pray in the Name of Jesus! I think it's much more effective, & your hearers will understand much better too if you're praying to Jesus & in His Name. If you know it & you understand it & you know Who He is & you know Him, I think you should by all means pray in the Name of Jesus!--J-E-S-U-S! And if you don't know to pray in the Name of Jesus, then you probably don't know Him very well--maybe you don't know Him at all! That's the question that arises in my mind when I hear people who are supposed to be Christians always praying "Dear Father God."
23. (Maria: In "What Is Jesus" you said that some people who do know the Lord, don't know Him real well; but of course, the Lord still answers their prayers & even when they are praying "Dear Father," they are praying in the Name of Jesus.) Yes, that's true. But I think they will certainly pray more effectively once they have learned to know Him better & know His Name. I'm sure they can pray better in His Name. (Maria: Yes, they will feel that more intimate relationship.)
PRAYING PERSONALLY TO JESUS!
24. People can pray to the Father if they want to, but I prefer to pray to Jesus, & I know He'll get through! He said, "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me."--Jn.14:6. And "there is one mediator between God & men, the Man Christ Jesus."--1Tim.2:5. So you can't even come unto the Father except through Jesus. You have no right to come to the Father except in Jesus!
25. (Maria: I believe that there are other real Christians who call on "Our Father" & get through to Him.) If they love the Lord, they're coming through Jesus' authority. But I still prefer to say His Name to make sure.
26. A good verse is, "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, but with the mouth confession is made unto Salvation."--Rom.10:10. So if you want to make sure you're not only righteous, but you want to make sure you're really saved, it's a good thing to confess Him with your mouth. Then you can be sure!--And then others who are listening can be sure too. Maybe when we get to Heaven we'll find out all the Catholics who were praying "Our Father" got There too! If they sincerely believed & loved Jesus they probably will.--They won't just probably get there, they surely will! And they haven't even said their prayers "In Jesus' Name"! Well, they often say, "In the Name of the Father, the Son & the Holy Ghost," so there's the Son!--Another name for Jesus!
27. So the point is, you don't have to necessarily say J-E-S-U-S every single time if you love the Lord & if you have Him in your heart! But I'm of the old school that feels that sooner or later you've got to say Jesus! (Maria: Yes, absolutely, I believe that too.) Sooner or later you've got to know it's Jesus, & sooner or later you've got to pray in His Name--J-E-S-U-S! (Maria: But if you miss it once or twice in all those times you're praying, I don't think the Lord's going to not answer your prayers!) Right.
28. I'm also of the broad school that even believes if you only confess the Name of Jesus once in your whole life, you're saved! Of course, I believe if you're really saved you'll continue to confess Him. And I believe sooner or later you'll call Him Jesus! (Sings:) "In the Name of Jesus, in the Name of Jesus, we have the Victory!" I think you will certainly say the Name of Jesus eventually, & I think when you get to that stage, you'll say it nearly all the time! PTL!--In Jesus' Name, amen!
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