Thursday, February 05, 2009

Praying in the name of Jesus

I've blogged about the National Prayer Breakfast before, so you'll have to search the archives for some background if you want it. It's an amazing event. This year was the 57th annual breakfast. The goal is prayer and fellowship in the name and spirit of Jesus of Nazareth.

Now that's really interesting. Many of the capital "E" Evangelicals I have been around during my 42 years have a pretty narrow view of what it means to pray and fellowship in the name of Jesus. And it has something to do with the words you say at the end of your prayer.

Ultimately it has nothing to do with that. Really, as Mike Breaux says, "in the name of Jesus, amen" really means, "I'm done praying." So he ends his prayers in the voice of Forrest Gump: "that's all I got to say about that."

In the name and spirit of Jesus is more about how our lives reflect on the name of Jesus. Violating the command to not take the Lord's name in vain is less about a cuss word and more about our character reflecting on his character. When our lives are full of words but empty on love and grace, our words invoking God take his name in vain.

It is not about words. It is about loving God and loving neighbor. That is living in the name of Jesus.

More to come about the breakfast...

No comments: