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…