Monday, August 18, 2014

True Surrender

Sinless was our Lord’s request
    To have the cup pass by Him —
    The cup about to try Him —
Knowing He must face the test;
Knowing He must drink the cup,
    The hour being nigh Him,
    And God could not supply Him
Righteous means to pass it up.

"Not my will but Thine be done"
     He prayed in resignation;
    Our goal is imitation
Of the prayer of God's own Son.
Those who claim no will at all
    Lack Biblical foundation
    And hold a deviation
From our high and holy call.

God’s not seeking empty hearts,
    But those whose hearts aspire
    To something even higher
Than a granted wish imparts.
Men may feel a preference still,
    While yielding each desire,
    And making an entire,
Full surrender of the will. 

Drops of blood our Savior shed,
    Though yielded in submission
    To His ordained position —
And the cross that lay ahead;
Men may also yield control
    To God without condition,
    Surrend’ring each ambition,
“In an agony” of soul. 

Luke 22:42 & 44

Friday, August 8, 2014

Praying in the Name of Jesus

Those who know me well know that when I posted about praying in the name of the Lord Jesus, I did not mean uttering the words "in the name of Jesus" at the end of the prayer. This is a fine thing to do, but it is as open to abuse as any religious practice if the emphasis is put on the outward form rather than the heart of the matter.

If we are "in Christ"; if we are His disciples; if we have His interests at heart, we will pray in His name. We will pray for things He wants as much or more than we do. And when we pray for things that are for ourselves, our only plea will be that we are Christ's, and He has promised to give us all things. We know that we deserve nothing, and all we have is through Him. Thus we ask for it in His name --- whether we use the words or not.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Power of Prayer

Prayer is powerful -- but only as powerful as the person you pray to. Our God and creator who spoke the universe into existence and sent His Son into the world as a redeemer is all-powerful, loving, and good. He has promised to hear the prayers of His people. He has placed some conditions on answered prayer, and He is rarely on the same time table as we, but we have His word that He will hear us, and we know He is able. Thus, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

Prayers made to saints, guardian angels, ancestors, or a vague higher power may be powerful too --- as powerful as the demon who receives them. The devil is not all-powerful, and he does not promise to answer prayer. He certainly gives no assurance that he has our well-being at heart. Nonetheless, the devil has real power, and if it suits his purposes, he may answer prayer in a mighty and powerful way.

When we pray, we must be very clear who we are praying to and in whose name we pray. If we pray in our own name to anyone who has power to help us, we may get an answer, but it may not be from God. Those of us who love the Lord Jesus pray to the Father in His name. We know the power of that prayer, but its power is not in itself. The power is in the one true God to whom we pray. He is not only all-powerful. He is also holy and good. Let us be careful not to confuse our honor to Him for His goodness in answering our prayers with what the world gives to prayer itself without defining who is being prayed to. Let us make a distinciton between "the power of prayer" and the power of God to whom we pray in the name of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.