I had the pleasure of joining with others around the world at Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study and read through Max Lucado’s book – Before Amen. It was powerful. Highly recommend it.
Prayer is one of those areas that I struggle with and know that I need to grow in it. I over complicate the process; its simple – a conversation; yet it is easy to complicate that simplicity. The book is easy to understand and yet deep and profound in the truth communicated.
Two chapters tied for my favorite, “Ch 7 – They Need Help” (on intercession) and “Ch 9 – In Jesus’ Name, Amen” (the power of Jesus’ name.)
Interceding – on behalf of another person; I am a problem solver, I like to fix things; I was convicted and reminded sharply that when we cann’t help we can ALWAYS pray. Max says “Jesus never refused an intercessory request. Ever!” p70 Its difficult to pray for other people sometimes, why? For me its because of my pride, especially if I am in front of others I get very self conscious. What about when you are talking with someone – shouldn’t our first response is lets pray; but yet it tends to be the last response. As Max continued to unpack the chapter he talked about unbelief and belief. This is an area that I have grown in yet struggle still with (I don’t have it mastered)I love how he describes the two……. “Unbelief: Attempting to help others without calling on Jesus. Belief: pounding on God’s door at midnight. Doing whatever it takes to present people to Jesus.” Pg 72 Did you catch that? It makes sense, its simple – yet it is very hard to live out. My first response when I see a need should not be to step in and help but pray for them. I may need and should be propelled to action BUT my first response should be prayer.
“Nothing pleases Jesus as much as being audaciously trusted.” Pg 76
Have you ever experienced any of them without conversing with the Father first???
I still remember an email I received from a dear friend and mentor. A request to pray daily for and with them as they embarked on what God had next. An invitation to invite Jesus to be in the drivers seat and the ability to be on the team to help cover the journey with prayer. I am learning not to under estimate the power of prayer and what a blessing it is to be able to pray for others. “You are never more like Jesus than when you pray for others.” Pg 79
“Prayer slaps handcuffs on Satan. Prayer takes problems out of the domain of the devil and into the presence of God. Prayer confesses, “God can handle IT! Since he can, I have hope.”” Pg 97
For just a moment pause and imagine what that looks like. We are allowed into the throne room, to approach the throne because of Jesus.
It was at Jesus name the apostles healed people, Acts tells us that they were commanded to not speak or teach in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18)
Power in the name of Jesus.
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:11-17 (NIV)
Its not just that we speak in Jesus name, but that He knows us. We are known to Him. When we said yes to Him, ask Him to save us – He calls us friends. He knows us and we know Him.
In the name of Jesus.
Philippians 2:5-11 speak of Jesus coming to earth, humbling himself and obedience to death. In verse nine it says “therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven on those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow…..every tongue confess (Philippians 2:9)
Power in the name of Jesus.
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.“ James 5:16b (NIV)
~ personal response ~
Scripture quotations taken from the The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.