May 28, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Jesus once again instructs his disciples to pray “in my Name”.
Amen, amen, I say to you,John 16:23-24
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
Until now you have not asked anything in my name;
ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
What does Jesus really mean by,:
“Ask in My Name”.
There is an idiomatic phrase popular in culture today, “just asking for a friend”. It is used when the questioner feels embarrassed or unsure about the question, or unworthy of posing it oneself, for example: Can you really go to jail for not paying your taxes, just asking for a friend?
What might happen if we prayed like this, taking Jesus seriously in his offer to intervene for us, to stand in the place of our fear, hesitation, confusion, or unworthiness:
- Dear God, please forgive me for this sinful choice I made. I ask you in the Name of Jesus, my friend.
- Dear God, will you please comfort my dear one who is suffering. I ask you in the Name of Jesus, my friend.
- Dear God, will you please intervene to stop the suffering in the world. I ask you in the Name of Jesus, my friend.
How would the addition of this little phrase change my prayer?
The words are not a magic formula for working miracles. They won’t allow us to cure the sick or raise the dead in visible ways. But they will allow us to heal ourselves and others in ways beyond human calculation.
I think the words are a key to unlock our understanding that when we pray in the Name of Jesus, the miracle happens in us, not in our surroundings.
We realize that Jesus, in whose Name we pray, changed the world not by magic but by sacrificial love. Becoming his friend and praying in his name demands that we too live our experiences with that kind of unquestioning love.
Such love unveils the glorious mystery of the Cross to us. Even under its shadow, we see through to the triumph of the Resurrection as Jesus did.
Certainly, suffering was not removed from Jesus’ life nor from that of his followers.
But what was given was abiding faith, hope, love, and the trustworthy promise of eternal life.
Let’s ask for these precious gifts, in the Name of Jesus.
Poetry: Name Of God – by Sant Tukaram Maharaj who was a 17th-century Marathi poet, religious leader, and Hindu sant (saint). He is best known for his devotional poetry called “Abhanga” and community-oriented worship with spiritual songs known as kirtans.
Mahatma Gandhi, in early 20th century, while under arrest in Yerwada Central Jail by the British colonial government for his non-violent movement, read and translated Tukaram’s poetry.
He who utters the Name of God while walking
gets the merit of a sacrifice at every step
His body becomes a place of pilgrimage.
He who repeats God’s Name while working
always finds perfect peace.
He who utters the Name of God while eating
gets the merit of a fast
even though he has taken his meals.
Even if one were to give in charity
the whole world encircled by the seas
it would not equal the merit of repeating the Name,
By the power of the Name
one will know what cannot be known,
One will see what cannot be seen,
One will speak what cannot be spoken,
One will meet what cannot be met.
Incalculable is the gain that comes
From repeating the Name of God.
Music: In Jesus’ Name I Pray – Charley Pride
In Jesus’ Name I Pray
Father give me strength, to do what I must do.
Father give me courage, to say what I must say.
Let that spirit move me.
I’m nothing on my own.
Father stand by me, I can not stand alone, in Jesus name I pray.
Father open up my eyes to your wonders all around.
Father let me see the good and beauty of this day.
Fill my heart with love, for my fellow man.
And if I’m tempted Father.
Father take my hand, in Jesus name I pray.
Father help me through the troubled days that lie ahead.
Let your life stand before me, that I may find a way.
So let me stumble Father, or fall beneath my load.
Father guide my footsteps.
Hold me to the road, in Jesus name I pray.
Let not hunger be my guide, nor fear be my master.
Father let not envy, be a part of me in any way.
Father search my soul, take away my fear and doubt.
Any moment that you find this,
Father cast it out, in Jesus name I pray.
Ah ah ah Amen.