By Samuel Chadwick
The most incredible things are promised to prayer. The Old Testament abounds in promises and examples. Deliverance and help, guidance and grace were assured to those who called upon God and committed their way unto Him. Nothing was too hard for the Lord, and nothing was impossible to those who prayed.
There is no limit to the possibility of prayer, and the Old Testament confirms and attests to the promises by examples and demonstrations of its power. Our Lord speaks with the same illimitable speech. His Word is, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:7–8).
Whatsoever Ye Shall Ask in My Name
The promise to prayer reaches its climax in the Upper Room on that memorable night of revelation and tragedy. Jesus declared Himself to be the basis of prayer. They were to pray in a new way. They were to pray in His name, and they would be heard for His sake: “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” (John 14:13–14).
What extraordinary promises these are that are pledged to prayer in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They abound in universal and unconditional terms. All things, whatsoever ye ask! Prayer reaches its highest level when offered in the name which is above every name, for it lifts the petitioner into unity and identity with Himself.
In the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ
To pray in Christ’s name means something more than adding “for Christ’s sake” to our petitions. The name expresses personality, character, and Being. The Person is in the name. Prayer in Christ’s name is prayer according to the quality of His Person, according to the character of His mind, and according to the purpose of His will. To pray in the name of Christ is to pray as one whose mind is the mind of Christ, whose desires are the desires of Christ, and whose purpose is one with that of Christ.
Our Lord demanded importunity and a forgiving spirit of all who prayed. In the prayer in the name, all conditions are unified and simplified in Him. Sincerity is tested in the name. Motive is judged in the name. Prayer is proved in the name. Prayer is sanctified in the name. Prayer is endorsed by the name, when it is in harmony with the character, mind, desire, and purpose of the name. “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 John 3:21–22).
For the Sake of the Name
We are heard for His sake. He is the petitioner. He ever liveth to make intercession for us. He told His disciples He was going to the Father, and that He was going to pray on their behalf, and whatever they asked of the Father in His name the Father would do it. Not for their own sake, but for His sake they would be heard.
When I was in Leeds, a man came a long way to look at a factory in which he was interested. He wrote to the firm, and his request was politely declined. He went to the company and presented his card. It was returned, and he was refused. No argument could get him beyond the little shutter in the outer office. He told his disappointment to a friend, who suggested I might be able to help him. He came to see me. I gave him my card, and wrote to the head of the firm. Next day, he presented his request, and handed in my card, and immediately every door opened to him. His petition was granted, but not for his own sake. The head of the firm saw me in him.
In some such way, we pray in Christ’s name. He endorses our petitions and makes our prayers His own, and “the Father hears Him pray.” We are not heard for our much speaking, nor for our loud shouting. Neither are we heard for our fine phrasing, nor our much weeping. Neither are we heard for our good works, nor for our self-denials. Prayer in His name is heard for His name’s sake.
In the secret sanctuary of the inner chamber, we ask, seek, and knock in His holy name, and present our prayers in the sure confidence of His wonderful and glorious word.
SAMUEL CHADWICK (1860–1932) was born in the industrial north of England and grew up working long hours in the cotton mill. Even as a child, he would rush home from the mill for five hours of prayer and study. He became known as a great Wesleyan Methodist preacher, author, and principal/lecturer at Cliff College.
Taken from Prayer Connect magazine.