And what you can do about it…
In His Name
Over the many years of being a “Christian”, I have been “taught” how to “pray”. I quote those words because I think they have been misused or misunderstood. At first I was taught by the Holy Spirit; but the longer I was around people who had been in the church longer than me I began to pick up some of their habits. Then it was expected I should pray in a certain way and take classes to learn how to pray.
A vending machine
has no will,
money is put in,
a button is pushed,
and what the person pushing
the button wants comes out
Today though, I want to discuss the practice of what may have become more like a formula many Christians use to put emphasis on their prayers. One of the things the Lord had shown me during those three days almost three years ago, was a vending machine. When He showed me this He spoke,”I am not a vending machine but people have made me into a vending machine“. See a vending machine has no will, money is put in, a button is pushed, and what the person pushing the button wants comes out. We, as Christians, may have started at a wrong starting point with our view of God. We unknowingly may think God has no will in circumstances of life and yet, His plan comes above everything else. I can only discern what I believe to be God’s will as each circumstance comes to me through this lifetime. His Holy Spirit inside me tells me and gives me unction to pray instead of praying a prayer as someone (man) desires me to…but wait I am getting ahead of myself.
Let me try to explain. The scripture that I want to use is in Acts 3:16. This is where the apostles are headed to the temple and there is a man who is sitting at the Beautiful Gate begging for money because he has been crippled since birth and the apostles say they do not have money but what they do have….here let’s enter in:
“Kefa said, “I don’t have silver, and I don’t have gold, but what I do have I give to you: in the name of the Messiah, Yeshua of Natzeret, walk!” And taking hold of him by his right hand, Kefa pulled him up. Instantly his feet and ankles became strong; so that he sprang up, stood a moment, and began walking. Then he entered the Temple court with them, walking and leaping and praising God!
Acts of Emissaries of Yeshua (Act) 3:6-8 CJB
In His Name…..I have ended many prayers this way. Many times knowing or sensing what I had just prayed wasn’t what God wanted me to pray. Yet, the expectation was for me to pray this way because if I didn’t then God wouldn’t be seen as good and/or I would not be praying correctly according to man. Let me make this very clear: God is good all the time despite the circumstances I am in. Yet, in the past, I felt I needed to pray a way directed by man rather than God. For this I have been convinced I was wrong and have gone back to my childlike trust in God and what His will is in each circumstance. See we apply an attribute to God and then make it a blanket statement not realizing that it might mean something far greater than what we see it as. Let me use this as an example. God hates sickness. Yes, God holds no account to sickness. It is not part of His realm. But I want you to think of the worst sickness or disease to ever hit mankind. Maybe it could be the plague, AIDS, cancer or….there are many to choose from. To me though the worst sickness or disease is actually the original fall. This is a disease that has attacked every single human being in the world. Our brokenness is what has brought so much strife, division, hatred, and evil acts perpetrated on other humans and the earth. This sickness/disease we are all born with. Jesus carried this for us at the Cross. He made a way to rid humanity of this awful disease. This sickness that has caused so many sicknesses. And with that He also took the shame of all of us who have performed these acts. I want the world to see the largeness of what God actually did through His Son on the Cross. We get caught up in the smaller picture and with that fear creeps in. What if I die? Well….we shall all die and as Christians we should not fear this or the second death. Because truly we live forever. We should not be like the Goyim (the unbelievers).
So, back to prayer. Here is the definition of the Greek word for “name” from biblehub.com:
3686 ónoma – name; (figuratively) the manifestation or revelation of someone’s character, i.e. as distinguishing them from all others. Thus “praying in the name of Christ” means to pray as directed (authorized) by Him, bringing revelation that flows out of being in His presence. “Praying in Jesus’ name” therefore is not a “religious formula” just to end prayers (or get what we want)!
[“According to Hebrew notions, a name is inseparable from the person to whom it belongs, i.e. it is something of his essence. Therefore, in the case of the God, it is specially sacred” (Souter).]
Praying “in His Name” means we receive revelation from Him as to what to pray. It is not simply to tag this on in hopes you are praying what He desires. It actually means you are praying as directed by the Holy Spirit in that instance. As stated above, Hebrews understand that the name is part of the person….the essence of that person and is inseparable from the person. A name is very important to Hebrews. As it should be for all of us. As believers in Christ, we have His essence known as the Holy Spirit residing within us. Inside of us we know, otherwise called discernment, what, where and when to pray. We have the mind of Christ, His essence, in us. We pray in His Name as we call out His will in this earth realm as it lines up with His larger picture, not yours. His larger picture, as I have read in scripture, is that the world may know His Name. He simply does not want one person, human, to be separated from Him. As we pray, this is the larger picture. In the above historical story of the man being healed at the Beautiful Gate, God’s larger picture evolves. This isn’t saying God didn’t want this man healed but there was a larger picture. Let’s finish the story here:
Everyone saw him walking and praising God. They recognized him as the same man who had formerly sat begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were utterly amazed and confounded at what had happened to him. While he clung to Kefa and Yochanan, all the people came running in astonishment toward them in Shlomo’s Colonnade. Seeing this, Kefa addressed the people: “Men of Isra’el! Why are you amazed at this? Or why do you stare at us as if we had made this man walk through some power or godliness of our own? The God of Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Yeshua — the same Yeshua you handed over and disowned before Pilate, even after he had decided to release him. You denied the holy and innocent one, and instead asked for the reprieve of a murderer! You killed the author of life! “But God has raised him from the dead! Of this we are witnesses.” “And it is through putting trust in his name that his name has given strength to this man whom you see and know. Yes, it is the trust that comes through Yeshua which has given him this perfect healing in the presence of you all.” Acts of Emissaries of Yeshua (Act) 3:9-16CJB
God glorified His Servant Yeshua. Simply making it known Who He is. Trust in His essence, His Name. Trust in Who He is that gave strength and perfect healing to this man in their presence. We have always focused on the healing but not so much about the people present. Peter was very straightforward telling these Jews the very same man with the name Yeshua, Jesus, this man who You disowned and denied as holy and innocent is the very same One Whose essence in them brought healing to this man whom had been crippled since birth. This was just what was needed at this point, in these people’s lives to make Him known to them. Each situation is different because each person is different. God knows us perfectly and knows what needs to be done in each situation. We are simply to trust (faith) Him with the outcomes. Fully knowing the worst disease to ever hit mankind has been abolished by the King of kings on the Cross. In His Name, ❤️