Devotions

The Confidence to Pray Bold Prayers

December 26, 2019
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“Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’” Acts 3:6 (NIV)
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Lying on my back staring up at the ceiling, a lone tear streamed from my eye and down the side of my face. I felt helpless, hopeless and overwhelmed by the plight  of a close family member.

Everything in me wanted to just fix the problem: Make it stop.

Maybe if I had more money, I could change the outcome, I thought to myself. Money, however, would not solve the problem.

My loved one was dealing with the consequences of a long battle with substance abuse. The journey toward restoration and healing would be a long one. It had already spanned my entire life, and it was nowhere close to a resolution. As much as I wanted to apply a quick fix to the problem, I knew that would not provide the lasting help my family member needed.

What he needed was a life-transforming experience that could only come from the unchanging power of God. We see a similar situation in Acts 3 when Peter and John encountered a crippled man. They were traveling to the temple to pray when a man who’d been lame from birth asked them for money.

For many years, this man was placed at the temple gate to beg for his livelihood. He was in close proximity to the power, people and presence of God, and yet he limited his request to money. Peter took notice of him and said, “Look at us!” (Acts 3:4b, NIV). Then, seeing the man’s great need, Peter responded by saying, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6b).

In the original Greek of the New Testament, the word “name” that Peter used means authority, and it speaks of one’s character. Peter staked the lame man’s healing on the authority and character of Jesus Christ. For some, this would have been a very risky move, but Peter knew Jesus intimately.

Peter knew the name Jesus was the Greek form of Joshua, which means the Lord saves. He knew Jesus was also known as “the Christ” or “Messiah” — which means Anointed One. He knew Jesus was Immanuel which means God is with us. As a result, Peter took the lame man by the right hand and immediately, he stood to his feet, his ankles became strong, and he began walking and praising God.

This life-transforming power is the same power available for us today. We can apply this power to the crippled circumstances in our lives.

Whether we’re dealing with a difficult marriage, a serious health concern, or a loved one battling an addiction, we can speak to those circumstances in the name of Jesus. Which begs the question, Why do we not see as many similar life transformations today?

It could be because we’ve lost faith in the name of Jesus. Maybe we’ve given His name a lesser value than that of power, doctors or money. Although there might be several reasons why we do not always see the same results Peter and John saw on that day, it doesn’t negate the reality that life-transforming power is found in the name of Jesus.

No matter how bleak, God invites us to pray bold prayers over all our crippling circumstances. God extends this invitation to every believer, including you and me. This is why I continue to pray and believe God for life transformation for my loved one. Just like Peter and John, we can stake our confidence in prayer on the authority and character of Jesus Christ.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for giving us life-transforming power through Your Son Christ Jesus. Help me trust in the power of Your Name over every other name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

Psalm 20:7, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” (NIV)

Luke 5:17, “One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES

Have you ever found yourself wondering, How do I trust God with certainty when my situation seems so uncertain? You aren’t alone! Join us for our next 6-week Online Bible Study of Trustworthy: Overcoming Our Greatest Struggles to Trust God by Lysa TerKeurst. The study begins January 20, but you can register here for free today!

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REFLECT AND RESPOND

What are the crippling circumstances in your life? What bold prayers can you pray over those situations?

We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts about today’s devotion in the comments section.

© 2019 by Kia Stephens. All rights reserved.

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