Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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Whatever you ask the Father in my name...

Whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. (John 16:23)

What does it mean to ask the Father in Jesusí name when we pray? According to Jewish tradition, a personís name was not just the word you would use to get their attention. To speak in a personís name was to speak in his or her place, as an ambassador would speak for the president. It was as if that person were right there with you, lending his authority to your words. So when Jesus invites us to pray in his own name, he is giving us a high privilege indeed!

An ambassador can speak in his presidentís name because he knows his president very well. He knows what is on the presidentís heart and how his president would respond to a given situation.

This is the kind of relationship Jesus wants you to have with him. He wants you to come to know him deeply. He wants to teach you to love the things he loves, to see the world through his eyes of mercy, and to treat each other with the same tenderness he treats you.

In fact, instead of thinking in terms of an ambassador, perhaps we should think in terms of a husband and wife or a very close brother and sister. Think about how a husband and wife anticipate each otherís needs and desires. Or think about how two brothers might finish each otherís sentences.

Of course, this doesnít happen immediately. It takes time, just as it takes time for our relationship with the Lord to deepen. We canít expect ourselves to know everything about Jesus right away, so we certainly canít expect to get it right every time we try to pray for someone. But that doesnít mean we shouldnít try.

Day after day, as you offer your loved ones to the Lord in prayer, try your best to pray for them as you think Jesus would want. Over time, something marvelous will happen: Jesus will draw closer to you and help you understand him more deeply. And that will affect the way you will pray tomorrow. And so on, and so on, and so on.

What a privilege it is to pray in the power of the name of Jesus!

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