How do you pray “in Jesus’ name”?
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|Are there different types of doubt, or do all doubtful thoughts and feeling come from the same source? What steps does God give us in the Bible to help us deal with emotional types of doubts? Dr. Ankerberg’s guest, Dr. Gary Habermas answers these and many other questions about doubts in a Christian’s life.
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 4, Cat. No. DBT
Keywords: Dr. Gary Habermas, Dr. John Ankerberg, Christianity, Religion, Doubt, Salvation, Grace, Faith, Gospel, Volitional doubt, emotional doubt, Factual doubt, discussion, Prayer, Psalm 66:18, Philippians 3:10
- Ankerberg: How do you pray, then? Because if you’re praying and believing in Jesus’ name, and yet there are people that say, “I’m going to pray for a job,” they don’t get the job. Guys pray for their healing and they go out and have a heart attack. So how do you pray in Jesus’ name, believing these verses?
- Habermas: Well, a few comments. First of all, prayer is always conditional; it’s never unconditional. For example, some of the conditions we can establish. David said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” [Psa. 66:18] Okay, confess your sins. We should be obedient, not just come to God whenever we need something. That was a tough one. But here’s one: Pray according to Jesus’ will. [1 John 5:14] Uh-oh. That one hurts. I can’t control that one. So, I don’t know what He wants and what He doesn’t want. But as far as how I should pray in His name [John 14:13-14], how about the model of the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus had a lot on the line here. He’s facing death. He knows why He’s come and He says, “Not my will but yours be done.” [Luke 22:42] I think a resignation that says, “I know you can take me from it. If you do, that’s fantastic. If you don’t, I’m still in there with you.”
- I think that’s the other side. Someone might say, “Why pray?” God, “A,” does take us from situations sometimes. He just doesn’t always promise to do that, but He takes us from situations. There are more times that He takes us through them, but He does take the saints through and from in the New Testament. So, pray, because He may take you from it.
- But, secondly, you pray for grace to go through it so that you can grow; so that the embers don’t get cold; so I can stay on the path. That’s why Paul says, “I fought the fight, I’ve come to the end of my life. [2 Tim. 4:7] “I’ve pursued Christ,” Paul says in Philippians 3:10, “so that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.” Paul’s goal, Philippians 2, is to finish the course. His goal is to finish the right way. [Phil 2:12-16] And I think that’s the believer’s prayer. If God takes us from it, praise God. If He takes us through it, if I’m going to go through it anyway, I may as well have my head up, saying the right things to myself, giving glory to Christ, and hope I grow and keep stoking those embers because a hundred years from now, it won’t make any difference.
- If we ask ourselves, “What difference does this make in a hundred years?” If I only work on those things that have results in a hundred years, it’s going to guide my behavior.
- Another quick thought. People say, “You can’t take it with you,” but you can. The kinds of things that you can’t take with you are material possessions. The kinds of things you can take with you are persons. Changes in persons’ lives last more than a hundred years. I don’t say this in a vacuum. As you said in an earlier program, I did lose my wife, and I watched her die, and we were very, very close. I’m not pointing to myself as some great saint. No, the Lord took me through some tough times. But you know what? Here’s where it really gets “touchy.” She’s in Heaven. I want to be with her. Am I going to blow it down here?
- So, again, my thought is, the older I get, the more I want to be there, because that’s where people are. That’s where my loved ones are. And Heaven is fellowship with the God of the universe and with our Christian loved ones forever. I just think it’s worth pushing, especially when God never promised me that He’d take me out of all these situations.