Thursday, June 22, 2006

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.

I've noted before the importance of prayer, our need for it and reliance upon God through it. However, it's not enough just to pray; when praying we must relate appropriately to our triune God.

The trinity is certainly not the easiest thing to comprehend, but I've heard prayers in which trinitarian confusion is rampant. I've heard people thanking the Father for dying on the cross and thanking the Son for sending Himself and so forth.

Does it matter to whom prayer is addressed? Are the roles described in the Bible about trinitarian activity, particularly with regard to prayer, important? Prayer is serious business and we must take it seriously, especially with regard to how we as His subjects approach the King of the universe.
“Prayer is only possible to the revealed Father through the mediating Son by the inspiring Spirit.” - G. Campbell Morgan

As Christians we are to pray:

. . . to the Father
When help is sought in prayer, Jesus teaches that prayer should be to the Father (Matthew 6:6, 8, 9). Plus, Jesus prayed to the Father as our example (John 17).

. . . through the Son
We have our access to God through Jesus, the Christ (John 14:6; Eph 2:18). Our access is through His blood (Hebrews 10:19). We are to ask the Father, in Jesus’ name (John 14:13; 15:16 (& v.7); 16:23).

Q: What does it mean to ask for something in Jesus’ name?
Certainly it is much more than the mere putting of His name at the end of our prayers, or simply saying, “Hear me for Jesus’ sake.” First, it means that we pray in His person, that is, as standing in His place, as fully identified with Him, asking by virtue of our very union with Himself. When we truly ask in the name of Christ, He is the real petitioner. Second, it means, therefore, that we plead before God the merits of His blessed Son. When men use another’s name as the authority of their approach or the ground of their appeal, the one of whom the request is made looks beyond him who presented the petition to the one for whose sake he granted the request. So, in all reverence we may say, when we truly ask in the name of Christ, the Father looks past us, and sees the Son as the real suppliant. Third, it means that we pray only for that which is according to His perfections and what will be for His glory. When we do anything in another’s name, it is for Him we do it. To pray in Christ’s name is to seek what He seeks, to promote what He has at heart! - A.W. Pink

. . . by (or in the power of) the Holy Spirit
Our access to God is through the Spirit (Eph 2:18). We are to pray in the power and sphere of the Spirit, prayer guided and inspired by Spirit (Eph 6:18). Prayer is two-way communication where the Holy Spirit teaches us (John 16:13) and helps us to pray (Rom 8:26-27).

When we pray, we need to get our mind right. That entails praying as God has instructed. Otherwise, we may have failure to communicate.

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