April 20, 2005 - 110/255

Then I called on the name of the Lord: "O Lord , save me!" Psalm 116:4

We believe David was a man of prayer. We can assume this because the Psalms are filled with prayers of petition and praise. He also found that a particular type of prayer was most invaluable and that was the one where he called on the name of the Lord.

Jesus is the Lord of whom David speaks even though he was born of the virgin Mary over a thousand years later. We know that the angel said He should be called Immanuel, meaning "God with us." But we now know God was with us thousands of years before David and thousands of years since Jesus walked the face of the earth. Aren't you glad God is with us? Most of us today pray and use Jesus' name when we do it, but what exactly does it mean to call on the "name" of the Lord?

I love to hear people pray. I try to concentrate on my own silent praying when others are praying aloud, but sometime it's too hard to hard. I notice they keep using a name of God in every sentence. That's OK I suppose, but I often wonder why talking with God must be different than talking with anyone else. Here's what I mean:

Don, I come today to say hello. Don, you are a great friend and for that I thank you, Don. I cherish our time together Don and I don't know how to get through the day with talking to you Don. O Don, I hope you have a great day and I guess I see you later -- Don. Mix a few Thees and Thous and you will know how long someone's been praying in such an unnatural manner. David simply prayed, "O Lord, save me!" We should all learn to pray in such a shortened and direct manner.

Is it just me or the use of Don's name in my example like a punctuation mark of sorts. I don't want to make light of anyone's praying, but I hope you understand such use of the Lord's name is not what Scripture is speaking. Here's what that conversation might sound like in a natural dialogue: Hey Don - good to see you. I'm so glad you came by; I really enjoy our time together. It's like my day is shorter after we've spent time together.

Jesus revealed in John 16 the real reason for using God's name and it's nothing like our previous example. He said we can ask for anything in His Name and we will receive that which we ask making our joy complete. (John 16:24) Before you start rephrasing your prayers, listen to an example of praying in Jesus' Name:

"I come today Father, not on my own but because Jesus said I could. He told me You would listen to my concerns and bear my problems. He said that in His Name would be great power and for that I'm thankful, but right now I just want to praise You for the privilege of association with His marvelous Name. "

Praying in Jesus' name is positional, not using a secret password.

1. Pray Through the Word - 365 devotionals on the subject of prayer by James R. Green (John 16; Psalm 116)
2. Scripture comes from the Holy Bible, New International Version; (c)1978 by New York International Bible Society

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