What's so powerful about prayer anyway? I've been praying for my whole life and, until recently, I've not seen any supposed power in my prayer. Just being honest. I'm not saying this to put up a premise of false humility. I haven't seen it. . . . Actually "hadn't" is a better word.
Of course, I spent forty-some years living a false salvation. It just stands to reason that a phony Christian can't send up a genuine prayer. The thoughts and words might be sincere but the launching pad is inoperable. Then there are those who say God can't, or doesn't, hear the prayers of the lost. I don't know so much about that. Any prayer directed to God is a search for God. Jesus tells us that no one comes to God apart from Him. He is the way. He's the gate, or the door, however you might understand that. So, since God's desire is that all come to Him by grace through faith in Christ we can be assured that He is certainly answering the prayer of the lost by calling them to the Way that leads to Him. He IS listening and leading. Not everyone sees and follows.
All that said, the most powerful prayer that I have ever uttered . . . or anyone else, for that matter . . . was the one just after midnight, November 27, 2007. That was when I realized . . . actually God showed me . . . that I was lost after wrongly professing to be saved for all those years. When I admitted that and pled, or pleaded if you want absolutely correct grammar, for forgiveness and turned my life over to Jesus the most powerful thing happened. He took my sin away and filled me with the Holy Spirit. It was not my words that were powerful, it was His reaction to those words which were a reflection of my changed heart. Since that moment, the unlimited power of God to do what He calls me to do and to be who He calls me to be has resided within me. (Not that I'm so great at living that.) He abides in me! And you, if you know Him! It is so many other things as well, but there is no more powerful thing that can happen in a person's life.
So, here is found the power of prayer. When the prayer (us) is in agreement with the prayed to (Him), it's a done deal!
"And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." John 14:13-14
Knowing that my salvation was true, I'm thinking that I can finally get somewhere in life. My prayers will be heard and will have meaning! So, you might say I started going through my wish list all over again. Imagine my bewilderment . . . Things that had not worked out that should have worked out, that surely would work out now, still didn't work out! . . . and I even put "in the name of Jesus" on the end. So, what was up with all that???
I humbly submit that I have learned some stuff. One of the things I've learned is that there is always something new, or deeper, to learn. But, that is nothing to be dismayed over. It is a very exciting thing to be in the Word with something you've read time and time again and, suddenly, you see something, or understand something, in a way that you never have before. Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about. . . . happens constantly!
To speak in the name of Jesus is to speak with His authority. You might be too young to remember hearing "Stop in the name of the law!" I seem to remember hearing it more in cartoons than anywhere else. But, it was common enough to inspire the Supreme's hit song, "Stop In The Name Of Love". A law officer has the authority, and the responsibility, to enforce the law. Officer Friendly cannot arrest anyone in the name of Mr. Friendly. He, as Mr Friendly, has no such right or authority. But, as Officer Friendly, he has the authority to act in and "speak in" the name of the law. He can do what the law has authorized him to do.
Friendly, under the law, has the backing of the law to carry out his
duties. If he acts outside of the law, the law is not going to back him
up. He may do things on his on, but he IS on his own. Christians can speak in the name of Jesus. We should! He has given us the approval, the authority, and the guidance and power of The Holy Spirit to do so.
Praying in the name of Jesus is praying in accordance with His will, His authority. And He has promised that whatever we pray in His name, we will receive! You can read all the books you want to read, recite all the written "prayers" (when it ceases to be personal it's no longer a prayer) you want to (and you will find some great suggestions to use if they match your heart), but if it cannot be offered in the name of Jesus, it is powerless.
There lies the power in your prayer. Jesus is the power in your prayer. It's not in the words you use, it's in THE Word. It's not in the question, it's in the promise. It's not in the need, it's in the name. It is not in the fear. It is in the faith.
Think about that. Dwell on it. Pray about it. "In Jesus' name."
And always with thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving to All.
PS: Now you gotta hear this song . . . again! There's the "little bit tamer" version, and also the "It's on now!" version. Both great!