Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
John 14:12-14 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me[a] for anything, I will do it.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
In John 14, Jesus says, “If in my name you ask me[a] for anything, I will do it.” Does that mean that the name of Jesus is like a magic word that grants wishes? Does that mean if you end your prayer in Jesus’ name that whatever you have prayed for will be granted? Sometimes it has been taken that way, but what does it mean to pray something in the name of Jesus or to do something in the name of Jesus?
To answer that, we have to remember the power of names and words in antiquity. A name had a particular meaning that often described the person or their role. For example, the name Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which means “The Lord saves.” So, names have meaning and they have power. To ask something or to say something or to do something in the name of someone else is to say or do or ask something that is consistent with the will, the personality, or the character of that person. So, to pray in Jesus’ name is to pray as he did for God’s will to be done. It is to pray as Jesus did, acknowledging that God is like the most loving parent who desires what is best for us. When I am paying attention to my prayers that I pray in Jesus’ name, I am challenged by the question, “Is this consistent with the will, the personality, and the character of Jesus?”
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster