Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Ask in My name"

Have you ever just "messed up"? You know: lost your temper and yelled at the kids, wasted precious time watching some unedifying show on TV, allowed a day (or more) to slip by without spending time alone with God in His word and in prayer. Have you, afterwards, felt (deservedly) guilty and thus found it difficult to pray? Bill Thrasher, a professor at Moody Bible Institute, relates the following story in his book, A Journey to Victorious Praying (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2003), pp. 23-24:
"A pastor told me about a personal experience that has been a great help when I feel inadequate and unworthy of God's blessing as I pray. He said that after a very difficult day he was trying to pray before he went to bed. As he sought God amidst the discouragement of this difficult day, he thought to himself, Would you have any problem praying if you had led somebody to Christ today and had a great time studying the Scripture? He reflected on this thought and responded to himself, No, I would have no problem praying; but this is not the kind of day I had. I have had an awful day that has been characterized by many wrong responses. During this time of seeking God and reading the Scriptures, he related how he sensed a loving rebuke from God as he reflected on praying in Christ's name: "Do you want to come to Me in your name or in Jesus' name?" Only when we learn to pray in Jesus' name can we use our times of feeling unworthy and inadequate and turn them into confident intercession."
Jesus gave this instruction to His disciples (and this includes us): "In that day [i.e., after His resurrection] you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God" (John 16:26-27 ESV).
Dear believer in Christ, if you're feeling discouraged, remember you don't stand before God on your own merit (God knew what kind of scoundrels you and I would be when He saved us!); you stand upon the merit of God's dear Son. You are in Christ. Because you love Christ and believe in Him, the Father loves you.
Don't let your sin keep you away from God. Run to God...and pray in Jesus' name.

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