Prayer, Power and Wielding the Authority of Christ

30 03 2007

No part of the Christian life has been more difficult for me than prayer. What motivates me and fills me with energy for a task is a clear understanding and connection with its purpose. But prayer is such a mystery. Its ultimate purpose shrouded. Its actual impact on reality uncertain.

So prayer, in particular intercessory prayer, is only present in my life as a result of determined discipline.

Prayer as relationship has always made sense to me but asking for things from God has not.

Then I encountered this simple verse “And God said, let there be light…”

When reading this verse before I would read between the lines and assume that after God said this he exerted some pulse of power that made it happen. But this time something different occurred to me. Maybe this verse is actually literally true? Maybe God just spoke and it was. No power (in the physical sense), only authority. If God speaks matter merely obeys his word.

This would make sense of Jesus’ word to the raging sea – “Be still”. And his disciples response “Even the wind and waves OBEY him.” I thought Jesus emanated power over the wind but maybe his words simply wield authority. That the very words of God make things happen not through some process of physical power but through a deeper process of supernatural authority.

Ah ha! Is that how prayer works? When Jesus said “Pray in MY NAME” this was an invitation to borrow his authority? That when he says “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” he was encouraging us that, in the name of Jesus, his disciples call upon the one with ultimate authority.

This makes sense of the importance of praying out loud. Not that we can’t say things in our heart but why wouldn’t we want to speak in the name of Jesus when praying for healing, or for peace, or for anything else.

Considering the implications of this paradigm of intercessory prayer really blows my mind.

  • I would constantly be praying about what to pray about. Holy Spirit how do you want me to use Christ’s authority?
  • Once I believed in a prayer I would want to say it out loud and preferably in a public gathering of other believers.
  • I would pray with far more confidence as one wielding authority, as a viceroy of the King speaking his will into our existence.

Something I need to continue to ponder God help me…


Passive Men & the sin of Adam

30 03 2007

Hey Guys,

Something that came out of the women’s midrash that we didn’t get to is the this part of the Genesis 3 –

“6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.”

The women’s group wrestled with the reality that, since their hearts are soft, they often can be more easily deceived BUT what does this say about the nature of men?

We have the propensity to be passive.

Many historians, especially Jewish historians, who spent years considering where the “real” blame of the holocaust needs to be, in other words, who could have stopped it but didn’t, they concluded that the real cause of unspeakable evil in the world is not evil people, they will always be with us, but good men who do NOTHING.

They grabbed a hold of Edmund Burke’s statement “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”.

So what about us? What are you planning to do this week? How are you taking these truths and CHANGING yourself first and the world around you? Or are we just going to commit the sin of Adam?

This is the poem on the Holocaust memorial in Boston that illustrates what happens to a society when good men do nothing –

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.