Blog # 326 Prayer in Jesus
...through Christ, Our Lord. Amen! We are so familiar with ending our prayers in the name of Jesus there is danger we just take it for granted this is how our prayers should end, without the practice being a special source of grace for us. Our Christian prayer, prayer in Jesus, as Baptized persons is a very special breed of prayer.
In a Christian faith community our prayer is not merely a prayer of multiples, like the accumulation of sea shells on a beach, or the increase in volume of sound when twenty people rather than ten sing a song together. Rather, as branches on a vine, as Jesus labeled us, we share a single life in Him, and our prayer is influenced, and, in fact defined by this real sharing. Our prayer in union with that of Jesus goes to the Father as one voice, one single act of adoration, thanks, repentance, and petition. What else could it mean to pray "...in the Name of Jesus", and "...through Christ Our Lord" as we do? A difficulty is that few Christians seem to be aware of this faith of ours and the implications it should have for us regarding the identity and experience of our prayer.
Some of those implications come from such texts as Hebrews 7: 23 - 25. "Under the old
Covenant there were many priests because they were prevented by death from remaining in office; but Jesus, because he remains forever, has a priesthood which does not pass away. Therefore he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he forever lives to make intersession for them." It seems many if not a majority of people, even believing Christian people, tend to relate to Jesus in our memories, as a historical personage, living in the stories of the Scriptures, humble, generous, prayerful, kind and inspiring, but in the past tense, in the providential limits of His humanity, rather than as the CURRENT, UNRESTRICTED, DIVINE, SAVOR OF THE WORLD. The limits the world placed upon Jesus through His freely chosen obedience to the Father's will are no longer applicable to Him other than in memories from past history.
Now, in this current and final stage in the history of creation, we are entitled and called to pray, not only THROUOGH Jesus, as our INTERCESSOR, and WITH Jesus as our source of inspiration and SUPPORT, but IN Jesus as MEMBERS OF THE VINE, sharing His divine life, in the present moment.
There are three stages in coming to an experience of what I have written here The first is to believe and understand it. The second is to keep ourselves aware of it when we pray. The third stage is to make a conscious free personal response to it. That is when Christian prayer really begins. It might be compared to stage one , having a certain man and woman as our parents, stage two, being aware of this fact, and stage three loving them.