grace tidings: with dr doug mamvura
The Name of Jesus touched every part of the early believers’ lives. It had a place in their thoughts, in their prayers, in their preaching that we are almost ignorant of today.
In our Christian walk, we have the same right to the use of the Name of Jesus. May the Lord open our eyes and our hearts that we may know the riches of the glory of God which are hidden in that name as we take special notice of its place in the believer’s daily walk.
In prayer most of us know, to some extent, that we can use His name in prayer, but we do not realise the significance of it. Some of us repeat it in parrot-like fashion.
We will be in the natural, human realm or mental realm. It is possible to repeat scriptures, or the name of Jesus from memory, or just because somebody else says it. However, it will not work. But, blessed be God, when you know it and realise what the Word of God actually says, when you believe it from your heart, when you act on it from your heart, then it will work!
Let’s look at the classic promise Jesus made regarding the use of His Name in prayer. John 16:23 -24, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my Name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing. In my NAME: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full”.
I have a key that unlocks the door of my car. I may say that I unlock the door, but really it is the key that does it. I wouldn’t start the car without that key. The key is the important factor in driving that car. I could get nowhere without it. There is a key to prayer without which we can get nowhere. This key will unlock the doors and windows of heaven and grant our every need. This key is the name of Jesus. Jesus is our mediator, intercessor, advocate, and Lord. He stands between us and the Father. No place in the Bible are we told to pray to Jesus. We are always told to pray to the Father in Jesus’ name.
Therefore, to be sure our prayers reach the Father, we must come according to the rules laid down in the Word. When Jesus said, “in that day,” He was talking about the day we live in now. He made this promise just before He went to Calvary. The New Covenant was about to come into being. A good way to think of it is, “In the day of the New Covenant, ye shall ask Me nothing. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you.” While Jesus was on the earth, His disciples did not use His name in prayer. Hence, He said, “Hitherto [or up till now] have ye asked nothing in My name….”
It was after He arose from the dead, conquered the hosts of hell, and was seated at the Father’s right hand, far above all principality, power, might, and dominion, that the church could pray in the more excellent name He obtained, the name above every other name. “Ask, and ye shall receive, that your jay may be full.”
His name guarantees an answer to our prayer.
There is yet another promise Jesus made regarding the use of His name. John 14:13-14 “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my Name, I will do it. Jesus is not talking about prayer here. (He is talking about prayer in John:16, because He said, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you”) Here He said, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that I will do… If ye shall ask any thing in my name I will do it.” He is not talking about praying to the Father to do something. He is talking about using the name of Jesus against the enemy in our daily life. The word “ask” also means “demand.” “Whatever you demand in My name, I [Jesus] will do it.”
An example of this is recorded in the third chapter of Acts with Peter and John at the gate called Beautiful. Peter knew he had something to give when he said to the crippled man, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give thee. Then Peter said, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” He asked, or demanded, that the man get up and walk in the name of Jesus.
According to Greek translation, it literally says, ‘Whatever ye shall demand as your rights and privileges, that shall I do!” Hallelujah! Strong’s concordance brings out this meaning of the Greek word translated ask: “to demand something due.” You cannot demand rights and privileges, if you do not know what they are. That’s where Christians fail. They do not realise that under the New Covenant which God has established with the church through the Lord Jesus Christ, we have rights and privileges.
We have the right, we have the privilege to use the name of Jesus! And vested in that name is all the power, all the authority, that Jesus ever had. When Jesus was on the earth, He healed the sick. Now do you see what Peter did? Peter was bold. He understood what Jesus meant when He said, “Whatever you demand in My name, I will do.” So he said, “I have that name and it is my right to use it. So, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
He demanded it in Jesus’ name! And Jesus got the man up and put him to walking! Read through the Book of Acts. You will see the early believers using the name in just this way. Very little is said about their praying for the sick. They did on occasion. Paul did on the island of Melita (Acts 28:8), but most of the time they simply used the name of Jesus.
Several years after the healing of the man at the Gate called Beautiful, for instance, Peter said to a man who had been sick eight years, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed” (Acts 9:34). He arose immediately! They did not have some unknown power we don’t have today. It was the name of Jesus that did it. That name has not been taken away from the church. That name belongs to us. Why doesn’t that name do now what it did then? Why doesn’t that name perform the same miracles it did then?
I think we can locate the problem from Peter’s remarks to the crowd that gathered after they saw the man who had lain so many years, begging alms at the Gate Beautiful, now walking and leaping and praising God. Acts 3:12,13,16 “… why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; And his name through faith in His name hath made this man strong…. We have had the name, but our faith in the name has been weak. Our faith in the name has not been the same. What can we do to correct this? The Bible says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
How can our faith in the name of Jesus be increased? By hearing what the Word of God has to say about the name. We need to feed on God’s Word along this line until our spirits are thoroughly educated, and our faith rises to a higher level. Then it will be just as natural for us to act on that Word as it was for Peter.
Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @dougmamvura