|`In my Name;' Or, The All-prevailing
`Whatsoever ye shall ask in my Name, that will I
do. If ye shall ask me anything in my Name, that will I do.
That whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my Name, He may give it
you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If ye shall ask anything of the
Father, He will give it you in my Name. Hitherto ye have asked
nothing in my Name: ask, and ye shall receive. In that day ye
shall ask in my Name.'-JOHN xiv. 13, 14, xv. 16, xvi. 23, 24,
HITHERTO the disciples had not asked in the Name of Christ, nor had He
Himself ever used the expression. The nearest approach is, `met together
in my Name.' Here in His parting words, He repeats the word unceasingly in
connection with those promises of unlimited meaning, `Whatsoever,'
`Anything,' `What ye will,' to teach them and us that His Name is our only,
but also our all-sufficient plea. The power of prayer and the answer
depend on the right use of the Name.
What is a
person's name? That word or expression in which the person is called up or
represented to us. When I mention or hear a name, it calls up before me
the whole man, what I know of him, and also the impression he has made on me.
The name of a king includes his honour, his power, his kingdom. His
name is the symbol of his power. And so each name of God embodies and
represents some part of the glory of the Unseen One. And the Name of
Christ is the expression of all He has done and all He is and lives to do as our
And what is it to do a thing in the name of another?
It is to come with the power and authority of that other, as his
representative and substitute. We know how such a use of another's name
always supposes a community of interest. No one would give another the
free use of his name without first being assured that his honour and interest
were as safe with that other as with himself.
is it when Jesus gives us power over His Name, the free use of it, with the
assurance that whatever we ask in it will be given to us? The ordinary
comparison of one person giving another, on some special occasion, the liberty
to ask something in his name, comes altogether short here,--Jesus solemnly gives
to all His disciples a general and unlimited power of the free use of His
Name at all times for all they desire. He could not do this
if He did not know that He could trust us with His interests, that His honour
would be safe in our hands. The free use of the name of another is always
the token of great confidence, of close union. He who gives his name to
another stands aside, to let that other act for him; he who takes the name of
another, gives up his own as of no value. When I go in the name of
another, I deny myself, I take not only his name, but himself and what he is,
instead of myself and what I am.
Such a use of the name of a person may be
in virtue of a legal union. A merchant leaving his home and
business, gives his chief clerk a general power, by which he can draw thousands
of pounds in the merchant's name. The clerk does this, not for himself,
but only in the interests of the business. It is because the merchant
knows and trusts him as wholly devoted to his interests and business, that he
dares put his name and property at his command. When the Lord Jesus went
to heaven, He left His work, the management of His kingdom on earth, in the
hands of His servants. He could not do otherwise than also give them His
Name to draw all the supplies they needed for the due conduct of His business.
And they have the spiritual power to avail themselves of the Name of Jesus
just to the extent to which they yield themselves to live only for the interests
and the work of the Master. The use of the Name always supposes the
surrender of our interests to Him whom we represent.
Or such a
use of the name may be in virtue of a life union. In the case of
the merchant and his clerk, the union is temporary. But we know how
oneness of life on earth gives oneness of name: a child has the father's
name because he has his life. And often the child of a good father has
been honoured or helped by others for the sake of the name he bore. But
this would not last long if it were found that it was only a name, and that the
father's character was wanting. The name and the character or spirit must
be in harmony. When such is the case, the child will have a double claim
on the father's friends: the character secures and increases the love and
esteem rendered first for the name's sake. So it is with Jesus and
the believer: we are one, we have one life, one Spirit with Him; for this
reason we may come in His Name. Our power in using that Name, whether with
God, or men, or devils depends on the measure of our spiritual
life-union. The use of the name rests on the unity of life; the Name
and the Spirit of Jesus are one.1
the union that empowers to the use of the Name may be the union of love.
When a bride whose life has been one of poverty, becomes united to the
bridegroom, she gives up her own name, to be called by his, and has now the full
right to use it. She purchases in his name, and that name is not refused.
And this is done because the bridegroom has chosen her for himself,
counting on her to care for his interests: they are now one. And so
the Heavenly Bridegroom could do nothing less; having loved us and made us one
with Himself, what could He do but give those who bear His Name the right to
present it before the Father, or to come with it to Himself for all they need.
And there is no one who gives himself really to live in the Name of Jesus,
who does not receive in ever-increasing measure the spiritual capacity to ask
and receive in that Name what he will. The bearing of the name of another
supposes my having given up my own, and with it my own independent life; but
then, as surely, my possession of all there is in the name I have taken instead
of my own.
Such illustrations show us how defective the
common view is of a messenger sent to ask in the name of another, or a guilty
one appealing to the name of a surety. No Jesus Himself is with the
Father; it is not an absent one in whose name we come. Even when we pray
to Jesus Himself, it must be in His Name. The name represents the person;
to ask in the Name is to ask in full union of interest and life and love with
Himself, as one who lives in and for Him. Let the Name of Jesus only have
undivided supremacy in my heart and life, my faith will grow to the assurance
that what I ask in that Name cannot be refused. The name and the power of
asking go together: when the Name of Jesus has become the power that
rules my life, its power in prayer with God will be seen too.
see thus that everything depends on our own relation to the Name: the
power it has on my life is the power it will have in my prayers. There is
more than one expression in Scripture which can make this clear to us.
When it says, `Do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus,' we see how
this is the counterpart of the other, `Ask all.' To do all and to
ask all in His Name, these go together. When we read, `We shall walk in
the Name of our God,' we see how the power of the Name must rule in the whole
life; only then will it have power in prayer. It is not to the lips but to
the life God looks to see what the Name is to us. When Scripture speaks of
`men who have given their lives for the Name of the Lord Jesus,' or of one
`ready to die for the Name of the Lord Jesus,' we see what our relation to the
Name must be: when it is everything to me, it will obtain everything for
me. If I let it have all I have, it will let me have all it
`WHATSOEVER ye shall ask in my Name, that will I
do.' Jesus means the promise literally. Christians have sought to
limit it: it looked too free; it was hardly safe to trust man so
unconditionally. We did not understand that the word `in my Name' is its
own safeguard. It is a spiritual power which no one can use further than
he obtains the capacity for, by his living and acting in that Name. As we
bear that Name before men, we have power to use it before God. O let us
plead for God's Holy Spirit to show us what the Name means, and what the right
use of it is. It is through the Spirit that the Name, which is above every
name in heaven, will take the place of supremacy in our heart and life
Disciples of Jesus! Let the lessons of this
day enter deep into your hearts. The Master says: Only pray in my
Name; whatsoever ye ask will be given. Heaven is set open to you; the
treasures and powers of the world of spirit are placed at your disposal on
behalf of men around you. O come, and let us learn to pray in the Name of
Jesus. As to the disciples, He says to us, `Hitherto ye have not asked in
my Name: ask, and ye shall receive.' Let each disciple of Jesus seek
to avail himself of the rights of his royal priesthood, and use the power placed
at his disposal for his circle and his work. Let Christians awake and hear
the message: your prayer can obtain what otherwise will be withheld, can
accomplish what otherwise remains undone. O awake, and use the name of
Jesus to open the treasures of heaven for this perishing world. Learn as
the servants of the King to use His Name: `WHATSOEVER ye shall ask in my
Name, THAT WILL I DO.'
`LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY.'
Blessed Lord! It is as if each
lesson Thou givest me has such fulness and depths of meaning, that if I can only
learn that one, I shall know how to pray aright. This day I feel again as
if I needed but one prayer every day: Lord! Teach me what it is to
pray in Thy Name. Teach me so to live and act, to walk and speak, so to do
all in the Name of Jesus, that my prayer cannot be anything else but in that
blessed Name too.
And teach me, Lord! to hold fast the precious
promise that WHATSOEVER we ask in Thy Name, Thou wilt do, the Father will give.
Though I do not yet fully understand, and still less have fully attained,
the wondrous union Thou meanest when Thou sayest, IN MY NAME, I would yet hold
fast the promise until it fills my heart with the undoubting assurance:
Anything in the Name of Jesus.
Lord! let Thy Holy Spirit teach me this. Thou didst say of Him, `The
Comforter, whom the Father shall send IN MY NAME.' He knows what it is to
be sent from heaven in Thy Name, to reveal and to honour the power of that Name
in Thy servants, to use that Name alone, and so to glorify Thee. Lord
Jesus! let Thy Spirit dwell in me, and fill me. I would, I do yield
my whole being to His rule and leading. Thy Name and Thy Spirit are one;
through Him Thy Name will be the strength of my life and my prayer. Then I
shall be able for Thy Name's sake to forsake all, in Thy Name to speak to men
and to God, and to prove that this is indeed the Name above every
Lord Jesus! O teach me by Thy Holy Spirit to pray
in Thy Name. Amen.
`What is meant by praying in Christ's name? It
cannot mean simply appearing before God with faith in the mediation of the
Saviour. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He supplied
them with petitions. And afterwards Jesus said to them, "Hitherto have ye
asked nothing in my Name." Until the Spirit came, the seven petitions of
the Lord's prayer lay as it were dormant within them. When by the Holy
Ghost Christ descended into their hearts, they desired the very blessings which
Christ as our High Priest obtains for us by His prayer from the Father.
And such petitions are always answered. The Father is always willing
to give what Christ asks. The Spirit of Christ always teaches and
influences us to offer the petitions which Christ ratifies and presents to the
Father. To pray in Christ's name is therefore to be identified with Christ
as to our righteousness, and to be identified with Christ in our desires by
the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. To pray in the Spirit, to
pray according to the will of the Father, to pray in Christ's name,
are identical expressions. The Father Himself loveth us, and is
willing to hear us: two intercessors, Christ the Advocate above, and the
Holy Ghost, the Advocate within, are the gifts of His love.
view may appear at first less consoling than a more prevalent one, which refers
prayer in Christ's name chiefly to our trust in Christ's merit. The defect
of this opinion is, that it does not combine the intercession of the Saviour
with the will of the Father, and the indwelling Spirit's aid in prayer.
Nor does it fully realize the mediation of Christ; for the mediation
consists not merely in that for Christ's sake the Holy Father is able to regard
me and my prayer; but also, in that Christ Himself presents my petitions as His
petitions, desired by Him for me, even as all blessings are purchased for me by
His precious blood.
`In all prayer, the one essential
condition is that we are able to offer it in the name of Jesus, as according to
His desire for us, according to the Father's will, according to the Spirit's
teaching. And thus praying in Christ's name is impossible without
self-examination, without reflection, without self-denial; in short, without the
aid of the Spirit.'-Saphiv, The Lord's Prayer, pp. 411,
1'Whatsoever ye shall ask in my Name,' that is,
in my nature; for things with God are called according to their nature. We
ask in Christ's Name, not when at the end of some request we say, `This I ask in
the Name of Jesus Christ,' but when we pray according to His nature,
which is love, which seeketh not its own but only the will of God and the good
of all creatures. Such asking is the cry of His own Spirit in our
hearts.-Jukes. The New Man.
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