Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 7 of Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God as he discusses why we always are heard for Jesus’ sake. Pastor Keller notes that God named the anointed kings of Israel- David and Solomon- to be his sons. Yet, the history of Israel and of Israel’s kings was marked by failure to trust and obey God. Still, ever since Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden, God has promised to make us His children once again.
Australian theologian Graeme Goldsworthy states that, at Jesus’ baptism, He was identified as one who perfectly trusts, obeys, and pleases His Father. Because Jesus has perfect and secure access to the Father, so do we. As we pray in Jesus’ name, we do so with supreme confidence, yet also with humble dependence on unmerited grace.
American theologian R. A. Torrey (1856-1928) tells the story of a man who wrote to him wondering why his prayers went unanswered. He had been an elder and Sunday School Superintendent in his church for years and was perplexed by God’s silence. Torrey said the man’s problem was that he was praying in his own name, not God’s. Torrey concluded:
“We must give up any thought that we have any claims upon God. . . . But Jesus Christ has great claims on God, and we should go to God in our prayers not on the ground of any goodness in ourselves, but on the ground of Jesus Christ’s claims.”
Today’s question: How can you be intentional about praying in Jesus’ name rather than your own? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The deadly peril of familiarity”