HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
KEY TWELVE: PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST
In ancient Israel, the high priest alone was allowed to go into the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle or temple—which pictured entering into the direct presence of God. And even he was commanded to go there only once a year—on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). With this sole exception on but one single day, anyone entering this sacred room would be immediately put to death by God Himself! Likewise, mankind, as a whole, has been cut off from direct contact with God.
But today, because Jesus of Nazareth died for our sins, true Christians have direct access to the Father. Instead of fearing death in coming before God, we are rather instructed:
“Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”! (Hebrews 4:16).
Through the “Name”—the office and authority of Jesus Christ—we can directly approach God in prayer and worship. We do not need any human priest as a kind of intercessor. For we already have the greatest High Priest—Jesus Christ (verse 14). And He taught His true followers:
“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:23–24).
Of course, many misuse the Name of Christ. For, citing Isaiah, Jesus described the religious leaders of His day:
“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9). Again Jesus said: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
To truly and correctly use Jesus’ name, we must obey Him and ask according to His will. Remember that in the Sermon on the Mount, Christ warned:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21–23).
Frankly, those who teach or practice lawlessness—preaching that obedience to the Ten Commandments is not necessary—are not authorized to use the name of Jesus Christ. They are teaching and practising a false Christianity that is completely contrary to everything that Jesus lived and died for!
The Apostle John explained:
“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4).
One does not genuinely “know” God—is not acquainted with God—unless he truly surrenders to let Christ live in him, practising the Ten Commandments as a way of life. Likewise, you cannot know God unless you are growing, overcoming and experiencing within your own life the very character of God that is expressed in these commandments!
Those who do not really know the true God or His way are simply not capable of properly coming before Him in the Name of Jesus Christ. However, as we have seen a merciful God will sometimes even hear the prayers of sinners if they are sincerely ignorant and if they turn to Him with all their hearts. But for those who want consistent answers to their prayers, we must serve and obey the true God. As God’s Word tells us:
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17).
So as you approach God in heartfelt, regular prayer, be sure you are obeying your Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Though He does not expect instant spiritual maturity, He does want us to walk in this way through the help of the Holy Spirit. Then come to the Father through Christ alone to make the direct contact of effective prayer. And remember that coming through Christ’s name—that is, through His office or authority—includes most of the other keys to prayer given in these messages. For coming fully and perfectly in Christ’s name would certainly include praying to the true God, being filled with the Scriptures, obeying God, forgiving others, having deep faith in God, being persistent and fervent, learning to yield as malleable clay in God’s hands and heartily worshipping and adoring your Creator.
Finally, for your own good, please study and review all of these vital key messages! Learn to constantly pray to God—communing and walking with Him. Then, as the end of this age approaches and the awesome trials and tests of the full Christian life come upon you—as they surely will—you will know exactly what to do and how to do it. In fact, you will be able to follow Christ’s own footsteps. He had cried out to God for strength and courage, He was not afraid when His time had come to die. In fact, as Judas and an entire detachment of troops came to seize Him, Jesus calmly “went forward” and asked them: “Whom are you seeking?” (John 18:4). For Jesus had done what He always did. Earlier, in the Garden of Gethsemane, He had fallen on his face and fervently prayed, calling out: “O My Father…” (Matthew 26:39).
God grant that you will learn to pray as Jesus did! For you should now understand how to use one of the most powerful tools in the entire universe. You have now been given real answers to unanswered prayer—twelve key messages to answered prayer!