I am getting really fired up for our next series, Jesus on Prayer, where we’ll look at Jesus’ teaching on prayer. Our goal for the series is simple but audacious: As individuals and as a church, we want to pray more in the next three months than we ever have in our entire lives.
One of my favorite resources in preparation for this series has been Paul Miller’s A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World. Here’s a brief quote from this book that motivates me to pray:
Imagine your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen. Your smell has proceeded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: “I want to see the king.” Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, “Jesus. I come in the name of Jesus.” At the name of Jesus the palace comes alive. The guard snaps to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway into the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms.
The name of Jesus gives royal access. They get through. Jesus isn’t just the Savior of my soul. He’s also the Savior of my prayers. My prayers come before the throne of God as the prayers of Jesus. “Asking in Jesus’ name” isn’t another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect.