Praying Well: Part 1
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14).
Prayer is a spiritual exercise and the native air of all who believe. It must be made in faith and in the name of Jesus Christ to be heard by God. Believing prayer connects the Christian with all three Persons of the Holy Trinity. The Father because of the believer's sonship, the Son by a mystical union through faith and the Holy Spirit owing to an inner witness in the soul following conversion (Rom 8:15, 16, 26, 27; 1 John 4:2).
John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrims Progress, defines prayer thus, “the Spirit by the Word directs in the manner as well as the matter of prayer (and is) the helper and governor of the soul when it [sic] prays according to the will of God; so it [sic] guides by and according to the Word of God and his promises.” This latter point is what makes true prayer powerful with God because it is, “according to the Word of God and his promises”.
Christians must keep praying and claiming the promises of God with an open Bible in their hands. Times like these need much prayer and call for committed intercession. Let us remember, our Savior said, “Ask and it will be given to you” (Luke 11:9) this promise is very precious and is expanded by Christ Jesus on 3 occasions in the Gospel of John.
We see in John’s Gospel it is important to ask, “in my (His) name”. What is implied by this phrase?
Notice firstly, asking “in my name” Continues Jesus activity.
Jesus speaks in John 14 of the ongoing work of the Gospel, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do. His followers will do works of power through faith and self sacrifice. Christian ministry is the continuation of His ministry here on earth. It is Kingdom work; eternal work; saving work. It need not be accompanied with miraculous signs as these were specifically signs of Jesus Christ’s messianic office and of the Apostles validity as founders and of the universal church (Eph. 2:20).
The sending out of the 70 helps us here for although they returned “with joy, saying, Lord even the demons were subject to us in your name” the Savior replied, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20).
Can we see what we are missing if we neglect prayer and fail to pray in faith nothing doubting. Jesus Christ had a goal and He endured the cross despising its shame “for the joy that was set before Him” (Heb. 12:2). We will share in His joy when we continue the work of the Kingdom in his name.
Rev Ian S McNaughton is presently serving as the Vice-Chairman of Barnabas Fund in the UK.
Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash
For Other articles by Rev Ian S McNaughton
The Christmas story: “A Son is Given”