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Blog #39 Three Little Words

Have you ever been singing along to a song you have known for a while and suddenly paid attention to the lyrics? Were you touched by the meaning or did you gasp at what you have been belting out for years at the top of your lungs? Guilty as charged: The Pina Colada Song by Rupert Holmes. Google it. If you recognize it, you know you’ve sung it!!

If you have been running in church circles for any amount of time, I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase at the end of a prayer:

“…in Jesus name.”

We hear it, we say it, we get the meaning, but, if you’re anything like me it’s just a phrase that rolls off the tongue at the conclusion of a prayer. Like familiar song lyrics, we utter it mindlessly and without significance, having reduced it to a verbal habit.

This week, though, I was freshly reminded of it. Repeatedly, Jesus encourages us to pray in His name. The phrase has clear, undisputed biblical roots. But there is more to it than just the words. It’s a heart issue.

Those three simple words communicate volumes.

In short, they draw a clear line in the sand. They delineate between us being the ones in need, the ones making the request, the ones who can’t make it happen on our own, and Him, the one who understands our needs, hears our requests and is more than capable to make anything happen.

Note the distinction:

I can’t heal this hurt.

But Jesus can.

I can’t fix my marriage.

But Jesus can.

I can’t change my child.

But Jesus can.

On my own I can’t overcome a fear, cease a bad habit, or write a blog worth reading.

But Jesus can.

Here’s the catch, though. These three words mean nothing unless we believe them. By themselves they are all ritual and no affect. And there is already way too much in the Christian life that is all ritual and no affect.

But that is another blog for another day…

For now, let’s think on these three words. Do they hold meaning in your heart? Paul wrote in Ephesians that there is an “incomparably great power for us who believe” (1:19). He goes on to explain the power available to us is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (v.20).

So, can the power that raised Jesus from the dead tackle whatever lies before you? I am going to safely assume a yes.

Sometimes it is easier to believe Jesus is who He says He is than to believe your situation can change. Your life hasn’t played out yet. It is still unfolding. But His has, and we have an account of it written by four different writers (along with countless other books that support the claim).

The resurrection happened, so tap into that power.

Seriously, what do you have to lose? We wonder why our prayers feel like they fall flat or unanswered. I suspect it is because our communication with Him is nothing but words. We are lacking the heart issue that gives us access to this “incomparably great power.”

Our words must be combined with a willingness to put the situation in His hands and let it go. Then we can exchange whatever fear emerges from that surrender with the power that raised Jesus from the dead. Leading us to say with confidence:

If Jesus can come back to life, He can do ________________ in my life.

There’s a lot packed into those three little words. They should make us pause every time we utter them. There’s hope. There’s courage. There’s power.

In Jesus name.

Be Intentional

Personalize Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:18-21 by putting it in first person and making it your prayer today.


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