Holy Father, protect them (disciples) by the power of your name — the name you gave me — John 17:11a
My name serves, in part, to identify me. Add my middle, maiden and married name–Mary Elizabeth Albers Felkins — and it distinguishes me from among the countless other ‘Mary’s’ in the world.
Distinguished or not, calling my name might get you nothing more than a head turn and inquisitive look. Or a smile – especially if you’re offering me a Coke Zero or Diet Dr. Pepper.
But my name is just that, a name. It’s powerless. And it says nothing of who I am or Whose I am.
Then there’s the name Jesus. It has power.
Delivering my daughter to school one morning, she was facing any manner of academic and/or social pressures. Since momma’s psychoanalysis or happy chatting in the A.M. is (ahem) unwelcome, I simply reminded her,
What’s the one-word prayer, you know, the one when you need God’s help, but words escape you?
Shortest, most powerful prayer ever. Easy to remember, easy to share, easy to fire at the enemy. Sends him scattering.
I suppose if God, in His wisdom, chose to call His son, say, Wilburn or Oswald, there’d have been power in that name, too. But Jesus Christ it was.
And because the Son obeyed God the Father, to the point of death on the cross, and conquered sin and death with His resurrection from the dead, there’s power in the name God gave Him.
No other religion makes this claim.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we are saved.
All the more reason to hold Jesus’ name sacred, to use it only when addressing Him directly or speaking reverently about Him. That joke about how lightning might strike after misuse of His name? I’d sure hate to be the fool that tests that idea.
To the perishing and wicked, Jesus’ name is dangerous. It subdues and scatters demons.
To those who are – and are being – saved, Jesus’ name protects and empowers. It convicts, calms, and cleanses. On and on and on.
Don’t know how to pray?
Now you do 🙂