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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wingardium Leviosa - Thoughts

Yesterday I shared both the question that one of the men in the Wednesday study asked about prayer and how we began to answer it in our discussion. We looked at all of the references in the New Testament that contained the phrases “in My name,” “His will,” and “will of God.” Why? Well there are at least a couple of reasons. We could have gone to a book that someone had written on the subject, it could have been helpful. But in doing that our thinking would have been shaped by that person’s understanding of what they had studied. Rather than doing that we chose to look at what the Bible said first. Then if we went to a secondary source, we would have done the work first and we would be in a dialog with the author rather than being taught by him.
So then, what does it mean to pray in His name - will?  Thoughts at DTTB.
As you look at that list of passages what is the first thing that you notice? For our group, we noticed that the references to asking in “My name” and “in God’s will” with the result that if that practice was followed we would receive our requests, was in John’s literature. Namely in John and 1 John.

It looks like based on comparing those passages that the notions of praying “in Jesus’ name” and “in the will of God” have the same result, namely, that we will receive the request. So that would seem to indicate that those two practices are similar if not equal. What are the implications of that for our practice?

We came to the conclusion that praying “in Jesus’ name” is the same as praying “in God’s will.” That would mean that it is more than adding three words to the end of each prayer. God’s will is consistent with His nature and character. So that would imply that we pray consistent with God’s nature and character. That fits not only the text but our experience. We used the illustration of an ambassador. The ambassador for any country speaks and acts on behalf of the country which he represents. In so doing he speaks in concert with the wishes of the leader of that country. In a sense consistent with that leader’s nature and character.

For us, the implication is that in order to pray well we have to know our Lord well. We have to have a relationship that is continually deepening and growing. One of the ways that we learn in that relationship is by the results of our prayer. If we ask something and the answer is no or later, that answer is data on God’s will in that situation and an insight into His nature and character. It is the same with any relationship. Over time we learn how people with whom we interact respond to different situations. We know their nature and character because we have spent time with them and experienced how they have responded to different situations and requests

It is the same with Christ. That is one reason why it is a good idea to keep a record of what you have asked of Him and how He has responded to those requests.

So it isn’t the three words. It is knowing Him.

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