Thursday, December 27, 2007

In the Name of Jesus

I remember when I first moved to Alabama from Michigan how strange it seemed to me that people would say "In Jesus' name...Amen" at civic meetings, school functions, and other non-religious settings. Aside from the being politically correct perspective, I saw it as belittling the Gospel. There is power in the name, and that power should be respected and revered.

In church functions (outside of Sunday worship) a blessing for food or whatever event that was about to happen would always end with "in Jesus' name...amen". I guess that there is certainly some sincerity when invoking the name of Jesus for many, yet at times it's as if these are the standard words to say when finishing a blessing or prayer. I reflect upon being raised Roman Catholic and how every prayer would begin and end with making the sign of the cross. I said "In the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, amen" so often, and with such routine that it held very little meaning. Maybe it's just me but when it becomes ritual rather than passion-filled, it shouldn't be said at all.

I have been praying to The Father in the name of Jesus lately. I have been believing that whatever a true follower asks in the name of Jesus will be granted. The question that begs to be asked is whether I'm a true follower. I look to John 14: 8-21 for what Jesus said about asking for things in his name. To me, it's clear that Jesus tells the disciples to do as he commands, live as he lived, and ask for anything in his name and it will be done. I don't live as He lived. None of us do.

If I want a team to win, should I invoke the name of Jesus to grant our team a victory? If I'm hoping for a good parking spot at the mall should I invoke the name of Jesus because I'm too lazy to walk a few more feet? Of course not. These aren't the things that Jesus meant. Yet, people flippantly mutter the words "In Jesus' name" with little respect to what it means.

There is so much power in the name that it should be respected and revered. I'm growing to believe that I should call upon the name of Jesus only after much prayer and spiritual preparation before seeking His remedies to life's issues. Only after bowing one's head in humility can His name be proclaimed with authority.

These are the reflections of one in the healing ministry who is witness to, and awed by the power of the name of Jesus Christ. My hope is that this perspective isn't mine alone.

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