Things to Remember about Prayer - Lesson X
John 15:16. We were chosen by Jesus, and appointed to go and bear fruit, that our fruit must remain, that whatsoever we shall ask the Father in His Name, He may give it to us.
The fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16.
His chosen, to bear fruit, to the glory of God. Where this is a reality in a Christian's life, this promise is added, the qualification for effectual prayer being answered.
I John 3:22. 'Whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.'
Our relationship to God, as a child to a father, must be one of subjection, surrender to His authority, His will. This was the whole activity of Jesus on earth. This also brings the promise and gift of the Holy Spirit. We show our love for our Savior by keeping His words, and then the Father and the Savior will come and take up their abode in Him. To trust and obey is the only way to surrender to God and His will. Then God will be to them all He has promised to be.
We have most often prayed for strength and guidance and power to bear much fruit but the answer didn't come. This was the opposite order from what God prescribed. He wanted us to walk in faith, in obedience, and this would also be the path where we would be given the power of prevailing prayer. It is the obedience of faith. Just as a natural father would greatly reward the obedient son, so would our Heavenly Father reward us.
This submission to authority is one of the most difficult things for sinful men. We want to make all our own decisions as if we knew best. No wonder how little we have prevailed in prayer.
Jesus went so far as to say, 'Ye are my friends if ye do the things which I command you.' The purpose of fruit-bearing is for others' benefit. Are we up to this kind of life? Is it even possible? Is our present life pleasing in His sight. This is the purpose of His choosing us, that we must reach out to others in love. In this we will find His blessing - by keeping His commandments. Whatsoever we ask, we receive. What we grasp in obedience, we also grasp in power to pray within His promises, and appropriate them. This can also be seen as deeper growth of the branch as it accepts its source of life and power in the Vine, and thus the fruit becomes the natural and healthy outcome.
We must strive to grow and mature into the full stature of the perfectly prepared man, obedient to God's will and whose prayer is to ask what will be received. We must yield our shortsighted and selfish wills to God's will as revealed to us in His Word, and perfectly shown in the ministry of Jesus. He perfectly obeyed the will of the Father. His prayers were always answered as He obeyed. This is our example to strive for; give us the will and strength to act out in faith to follow this path our entire lives.
The Importance and Essential Aspect of Praying in the Name of Jesus. (John 14:13,14; 15:16; 16:23,24,26.) He repeated this so many times to emphasize the absolute necessity and all-sufficiency of His Name to be used in our prayers. All answers depended on the correct use of His Name.
A name brings to mind all that is known of that person. His life, words, deeds, our experiences with him. Just so, the name, Jesus Christ, brings up all that He Is, and Has done and continues to do for us as our Mediator. What does it mean to do something in another person's name? It is as that person's representative, their authority and power. No one should use another's name without permission, but only with their blessing and approval. And that is not given unless that person is sure that the other has the same interests and intentions, and will act honorably.
Jesus goes far beyond that. He gives to all those that believe in Him, a general and unlimited permission of use of His Name at all times and for all our needs. This includes and shows His confidence in our correct use of His Name. The use of another's name also shows that our name is therefore of much less importance. I, in effect, am standing in place of the other, representing him and not myself. I stand for his interests – and doing his will, not my own.
When Jesus ascended to His place of honor in heaven, He left to His followers the work He began, His kingdom on earth. As His representatives, He gave them and us His Name as authority to call for what they needed to carry on that work: the spreading of the Gospel and the building up of the church. To the extent that they are true to their calling, they will be given the spiritual power to call upon the Name of Jesus for all their needs.
By being children of God through Him we also have a life-union, a close fellowship with Him, one in Spirit. The closer the relationship, the greater the power in using His Name. Just as an earthly child will be given more by the parents - according to the child's closeness and shared goals and interests with the parents. In both cases, the uniting factor is love. This is also seen in the bride who gives up her name to then be in the bridegroom's name, and she then has free use of that name.
So Jesus loved us and called us unto Himself into a life-union. He gives us the right to use His Name for our needs. It also represents the giving up of our own name and life and joining another, thereby accepting all that that person has is now ours also. As we are His, so all He has is ours. To ask in Jesus' Name is to ask in union of life and love and interest with Him, as one who lives with and for Him.
The Name of Jesus represents the spiritual power that rules and guides my life. The more that it does so, so also will that bring power in prayer with God. The power that His name has on my life, is the power it will have in my prayer. We are called to do all as unto the Lord Jesus Christ. Many have died because they would not deny the Name of Jesus. When His Name is everything to us, it will bring everything to us. As we bear that Name before men, so we have the right to use it before God. We need to continually ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the riches of blessing we may grow into as we mature and understand the right use of that Holy Name.
The Name that is above every name, in heaven and in earth. The Name that before it one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, that Jesus is Lord of all. The bounteous supplies of heavenly grace and spiritual power is placed before us, to be used for the benefit of God's children, and those around them. The key is given in the precious Name of Jesus. His promise is sure: 'Whatsoever ye shall ask in my Name, THAT WILL I DO.'
Lord, we must continue to be alert and aware of what a great and certain promise this is. May we grow and increase in living to honor and share and spread that Name and all it includes to a lost and dying world. That all we do and say is in His Blessed Name to God's glory. That we may be constantly and more consistently about OUR FATHER'S business. And that as we do so, our prayer will also be in the furtherance of His will, and so will have power with Him, and that the Father will give. It is not limited by what God thinks of us, but it is unlimited by what the Father thinks of His Son. God, please help us to learn the value of that Name.
The Holy Spirit was given to us to teach us about Jesus, that we would grow to bring increasing honor to that Name. The more we say and do and pray in that Name, the more power we are given in prayer to glorify that Name. It does not yet appear what we shall be, but that we must be busy and striving to the high calling we have in Christ Jesus. His Name is the strength and power of our lives and our prayers. We must be consistently in His Word, for they are spirit and they are life. Through the Spirit they hold the power of an endless life, which has been given to us through Jesus.
God, may Thy spirit and Thy word guide, direct, and strengthen us, unto every good work, and especially that we may pray aright and call down the blessings of heaven, to the eternal glory of the Father, all for and in That Name. It is above every name, worthy of all honor, and glory, and blessing, and riches, and wisdom, and praise, forever, Amen.
As the Father is always willing to give what Jesus asks, so His Spirit teaches and guides us to also pray for those things that He presents to the Father. To pray in the Spirit is to pray according to the will of God, and also is to pray in Christ's Name. God has given us His great mercy and love through Jesus, our Savior and Advocate. Also the Holy Spirit is within us, to form a union of love that is eternal, beginning here and now, and to be completed there and then.
We must realize and remember that through the Spirit we have direct communion and communication with the Son, and the Son communicates directly to the Father for us. As we are taught by the Spirit, we pray aright for God's blessing upon our work for Him, so we have the promise of the Savior to intercede with the Father, and the answer is given. The promise is simple and clearly stated, without stipulation. To be in Christ is to live for Christ, and to pray in His name as we are busy about His work, His promise is sure and what we ask He will do.
As we spread the Gospel of His Son, we do the will of the Father. As we represent Him, we are given the strength and guidance to do the task. As we pray in His Name, we are given what we ask to do His work, all to the glory of the Father – He Who planned our salvation before the foundation of the world – Who knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. God also knows more than we are able to ask. He blesses us beyond what we are able to perceive or understand.
And all for the sake of His only begotten Son, the Light of the world, the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace, the king of kings and lord of lords, the Alpha and Omega, the Righteous Judge, the Consummation of all things, the Righteous Branch, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Seed of the woman, the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Advocate, the High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, the Bread of Life, the True Vine, the Sower, the Good Shepherd, the Son of David, the Son of Man, the Son of God.
In His Name, we are blessed forever. Let us never be shy to say His Name, for it is the most powerful name in the whole universe, for so has God ordained to place all things under His feet. Though this is yet future – it makes it no less certain. As sure as His life, death, resurrection, and ascension are, so also are the prophecies yet unfulfilled. For He Who promised has the power and the authority to carry out each and every detail perfectly. We must work while it is yet day, for the night is coming. We await His call to us in the Rapture, which could be at any time, for the world is hastening toward the time of Jacob's trouble, the Great Tribulation as never before seen on the earth, nor will ever be again. And then Christ's Second Coming to the Earth and Righteous Judge to rule the nations for a thousand years. Continually Praise His Name, Amen.
This article was written by my father T.O.D. Johnston, who was licensed to preach the Gospel by Paran Baptist Church on May 26, 1979. He has been a student of Scripture since 1972. View more lessons at his Bible Study Lessons page.