I am currently reading a book called Deep Wounds, Deep Healing by Charles Kraft (it has been very good). I wanted to share one thought that I had been learning about over the last couple months that I think he puts into words well. "I once had a discussion with a friend who was discouraged in her prayer life. It seems that she had prayed for several things 'in Jesus' name' but was not receiving what she prayed for. We discussed some of the possible reasons. Praying in Jesus' name, I told her, is not so much about how you pray or what words you use in prayer, but more about who you are in prayer.
"Many Christians take Scriptures like praying 'in Jesus name' and use them like magic incantations. They think that if they get the phrasing right, then the desired answer will follow. My friend needed to understand, though, that praying 'in Jesus' name' meant living in Jesus' name so that the desires of her heart would be more closely associated with the desires of that 'name.' Her desires would be more in tune with God's desires. Powerful prayers are initiated by those who live and pray in Jesus' name.
"Such intimacy doesn't have to be a mysterious thing for us however. I don't think it was for Jesus. We need to spend time in the kind of give and take that cultivates a close relationship. When we talk with God, we usually call it 'praying.' This term, however, obscures the fact that talking and listening to God are to be natural and constant, not an occastional ritual. We are prepared for ministry if we try to practice intimacy with the Father in Jesus all day, every day. (p81)"
Mr Kraft challanges me to live a life in line with the name of Jesus, the character of Jesus, and pray out of that, rather than just adding the words, 'in Jesus name' to end of all my prayers. The more I listen to God, really take time and listen, the more I get to know His heart and how it beats and longs for every person to experience the love that He offers, and the better I am able to pray in His will and thus see answered prayer.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
what would christianity look like if we took away the "ianity" and were left with Christ? Following Jesus, it goes beyond cultures and beyond rituals and rules. What if we strip away all that we humans have added to the raw good news of Jesus? How would our lives be lived differently? What would the church look like? How would the spread of the Good News of Jesus be affected?