Thursday, May 6, 2010

Come Boldly Before the Throne

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

A lot of things about prayer bring ideas of surrender, or even helplessness. A person kneeling with their head down is in a very vulnerable position. And that is the point, for some prayers. That’s why in 2 Chronicles 7:14, God says “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” The Israelites, quite honestly, got a little full of themselves from time to time, and need to be reminded of their place.

In all honesty, sometimes, so do we. True, sometimes we do need to be humbled. But we need to remember that we have been given authority equal to Jesus Himself when we pray.

In Ephesians 2:6, Paul writes: “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” What exactly does that mean? Well, let’s flip back just a couple of verses.

“That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:19b-23

So if we’re raised up with Jesus, our authority is, at the very least, similar to His. Jesus Himself even tells us this.

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”  John 14:12

But as you read a little further, we see how this works out.

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” John 14:13

There it is…it’s not us. It’s Jesus, acting on our behalf when we pray, the true meaning of the word ‘interceding,’ someone serving as a go-between for two negotiating parties.

There is a catch here, a caveat, which keeps us from running amok with this power.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:7-8

We must remain firmly planted within God’s word. If not, we run the risk of what James calls ‘asking amiss,’ asking for things for our sake, or our glory, rather than His Glory, or His Kingdom’s sake.

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