In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 16, 2016 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here.]

Back in July, I began a study on prayer, to learn what prayer is and with the desire to learn how to put the theory into practice. I knew from the get-go that the practice part would be the hardest, because intellectual study and theory is easy for me to do. However, I really do pray that through this series, you have learned how to pray better as I have been learning if not more so. This post brings this study to a close with Worldview Warriors. I will still learn more about prayer and still practice the concepts I have learned in this series, and I pray you do as well. And what better way to wrap up this series than with how we typically end our prayers, with the closing: “In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!”

What does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus? What does “Amen” even mean? Many sermons and posts could and should be written on this but I will hit the basics in one post. Typically we add this phrase at the end of our prayers out of rote. We say it because we were taught to end our prayers that way and to most of us, it is nothing more than “I’m done praying.” And I, myself, am just as guilty of this as anyone else. But, starting with me, let us start meaning what these words actually say and live it.

When we pray in the name of Jesus, we are proclaiming the authority of Jesus. We tend make our request and say “in the name of Jesus” as though he is some kind of genie who will grant our wishes. We may not think we are doing that, but in reality we generally do. Throughout the Bible, very few understood how authority worked better than the Roman Centurion. Jesus himself was amazed at the faith of the Centurion because of how he understood authority.

The Centurion knew Jesus had authority, and more importantly he knew that Jesus’ authority came from a higher source of authority. The Centurion had authority over 100 men, and his authority came from the generals of the area, and their authority came from Caesar himself. As long as the Centurion remained loyal and obedient to the orders of Caesar, he bore and carried the authority of Caesar, so if he spoke, it was as though Caesar himself spoke.

If we want to carry the name of Jesus, we need to be obedient to the name of Jesus. Unless we are submitted to the authority of Christ, he will not give us his authority. It is not enough to claim it. We must be given it. One thing I learned in reading the testimony of Rees Howells is that he had to learn and pray to gain positions of intercession. He had to gain the authority over tuberculosis early in his ministry to pray for a woman suffering under it. Then later, when he was in Africa and the plague hit, he had to use that experience and further submission to the will of Christ to proclaim that no one would die on his mission… and no one did. Howells was a man under authority, and because of his obedience under that authority, his prayers carried authority, even to the point that when he prayed over the battles of World War II, God moved.

If we are going to call upon the name of Jesus, we need to be living under his authority. We cannot merely claim it. If we are not going to live under Christ’s authority, by his rule, according to his standards, and live as though he truly is the Lord and Master over our lives, he has absolutely no obligation to hear anything we have to say. I’m serious. Do not bother saying “in the name of Jesus” if you want to live your own way. Jesus is not a genie who gives you whatever you wish; he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and should be treated as such.

The second part of our prayer ending is “Amen.” In a nutshell we know it to mean “let it be so.” But it truly means so much more. Eric Ludy did a spectacular sermon about the word amen called The Cry of the Roman Soldier. The word means more than just “let it be so.” It means “truly,” “surely,” and “without any question of any doubt.” It means “faithful,” “confidently,” and “it will be done.” Too often, we treat it as a period at the end of our prayer as a sign to others that we are done praying. It does mean that, but it means so much more.

The one thing that Ludy really got my attention with was his proclamation that God is AMEN and if you really want to dig into this even more, check out his sermon The Amen Life (or my blog post on it here) where Ludy addresses how to live what amen means: a life of blazing integrity. The word amen leads to integrity, standing for truth, being faithful and true, and being dependable and reliable.

God is amen. What he said will be done. If we learn to pray as God is teaching me how to pray and to even deeper levels than that, we will find that he always answers the prayers he initiates. God’s own name and his reputation is put on the line when he makes a promise. He WILL see it through to the end. When we proclaim “Amen!” we are declaring that truly, surely God will answer this. But do our prayers line up with his will? If not, he has no obligation to fulfill them. He may or may not. He still may give us what we want, but full consequences along with it. We must learn to pray God’s way. When we learn this and practice it, then we will not only see God answering the prayers, he will give us more of his prayers to pray.

As I bring this series on prayer to a close, ask yourself these questions:
How much time am I spending in prayer?
How serious do I take the call to pray?
Do I even desire to pray?
What must I give up to seek after God?
Am I willing to completely surrender all areas of my life so God can continue his purification of me?

Take an honest evaluation of yourself and pray about it. If God points something specific out to you, obey it. Do not fight it. Obey it. It will be tough in some cases, but if God puts it on your heart, you know it is necessary to do it and you also should know you will be miserable until you do it. That is part of what I have been learning the last five months.

I pray this has been a great series for you. Do take these things I have written on since July to heart and consider them. Please do not consider me some prayer guru, because I have found it very difficult to put these “lofty” ideals into practice on a continual basis. But it is not impossible. God did not ask us to live a life that cannot be lived and is impossible to achieve. But he did ask us to live a life that is impossible to live on our own strength. We need the Holy Spirit dwelling within us to pull off the prayer life this series has esteemed. We need a life away from the flesh, away from the world, unfazed by the devil, and wholly dedicated to God and his Kingdom to make this prayer life ideal work. It IS attainable. Go after it. Pursue it. And do not relent until you have it. Go and pray, and pray, and pray. Then see what God does.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Master, and Savior, Amen.

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