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I remember back when I was a baby Christian I still played the lottery on a regular basis. I use to covet winning so we could pay off debts and retire. My thoughts were “if we could just win the lottery everything would be great.” One day my late wife said to me “I started praying that if He lets us win we would give Him half.” I thought that was a good idea except I was not too crazy about giving the half part of it. Anyway I started praying the same prayer and the Lord answered my prayer. No, I did not win the lottery. Instead He said “I want you to stop playing the lottery; you are not going to win. Not only that you are coveting what is not yours and I want you to trust Me.”
Many times we either pray a prayer or do something “In Jesus Name,” when in fact it is not. Matthew makes it quite clear just because we say “In Jesus Name” it not necessarily is.
22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:22-23 NKJV)
In my above example was I praying in Jesus Name or my name?
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15 NKJV)
13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14 NKJV)
For our prayer to be in “Jesus Name” it must be according to His will or we are praying according to “our” will. When we devote our time to getting to know God through His Word we learn what His will is. As our relationship with Him grows we begin to develop the same will He has and we pray accordingly. Jesus gave us a wonderful example on how to pray:
5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
In verse 10 it reads “Your will be done…” We can narrow it down to “His will be done in me.” Just as Jesus prayed in the garden “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done,” we ought to pray likewise. That is, His will be done.