Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 11: A Way to Pray: Pray in the Name of Jesus

“...I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:13-14). 

Avail yourself of the greatest privilege this side of heaven. Jesus Christ died to make this communion and communication with the Father possible. - Billy Graham 

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple to pray, when they saw a man who had been crippled from birth. Every day this man would sit at the temple gates begging for money. “Give me some money, please give me some money,” asked the crippled man when he saw Peter and John.

Peter said, “Look at us!” Excited, the man gave them his full attention because he expected them to give him some coins.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have...” The man’s face dropped, “It’s just my luck to ask a poor person for money,” he thought to himself. But then his ears perked back up as he realized Peter was not finished speaking yet.  “...but what I do have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk," commanded Peter. He did not have any money to give the man, but he did possess the healing power that is in the name of Jesus.

Suddenly the crippled man felt blood rush into his legs. He could feel them for the first time in years. He looked up and saw Peter reaching out his hand, and without thinking he grasped the outstretched hand and stood up. Instantly his feet and ankles became strong.

Hesitantly he took a step, then he took another step, and another step. He was walking! He began walking faster, then he tried to hop up and down. Finally he ran around the temple court shouting “Praise God,” and showing everyone how he could walk and leap. The crowd in the temple court was astonished because they all recognized him as the man who was once crippled.

Peter asked the crowd who came running, “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if we made this man walk through our own power? Through faith in the name of Jesus this man whom you see and know was made strong.” 

When the priests arrived, they were greatly disturbed because the apostles were talking about how Jesus rose from the dead. They commanded the captain of the temple guard to place them under arrest. The next day all the rulers, elders and teachers of the law asked Peter and John, “By what power or what name did you heal this crippled man?” These men knew Peter did not have any power on his own, so they asked this question in order to discover whose power was behind the miracle.

“It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed,” Peter answered. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

The rulers were deeply disturbed because the apostles were preaching and healing people in the name of Jesus, so they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.    

But in a prayer meeting later that night, Peter disobeyed their command and asked God, “Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the Holy Spirit fell, and all who were at the meeting began to speak the Word of God with great boldness. As they preached, many people in the city of Jerusalem were saved and healed because of the power of the name of Jesus.