Gilbert Beebe on Prayer 3

The subject of prayer opens before us a boundless theme for serious reflection. The God to whom prayer is to be made is the “high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, and his name is Holy.” He is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity.” Yet in the amazing riches of his grace he has provided a way of access through Jesus Christ, the one and only Mediator between God and men, whereby his children may approach him, and come even unto his seat, and not be consumed. Most truly, Jesus Christ is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life, and no man can come unto the Father but by him. {John xiv. 6} Our prayers to be acceptable to God must be presented in his name, for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must or can be saved; and he has instructed us to address all our prayers to the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ the Son, and as indited by the Holy Spirit. This rule should be strictly observed when we approach the throne of grace. It is true that these three are One, but officially to be regarded in our prayers, as Jesus has commanded us. By the Spirit we address the eternal God, as “our Father which is in heaven,” whose name is hallowed; and we find access to him through his Son, in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, whom the Father has given to be the Head over all to the church, which is his body, and the fullness of him that filleth all in all; and in whose sacred Sonship is treasured the sonship, heirship, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, with every other spiritual blessing of all his members, and their eternal, vital union is securely treasured up in Him. Therefore when we pray we should ask our petitions of the Father in his name, as taught by his Holy Spirit. Thus the “Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost,” are recognized in our spiritual devotion. While we call upon God, as our Father, this relationship is in and through Jesus Christ his Son, who by the gift of the Father is our Head, and officially our Mediator, in whom alone we stand accepted. The Holy Spirit which is given us, while one with the Father and the Son, is officially our Comforter, our Teacher, and the gracious, infallible Prompter of our prayers. Every prayer, therefore, to be acceptable to God, must be addressed to the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ our Mediator; for in no other name or way can we have access unto God. The new and living way unto the Father, which is consecrated for us, is through the vail; that is to say, through the flesh of him who was made flesh and dwelt among us; whose glory we beheld, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. How frequently Jesus informed his disciples that after his resurrection and ascension to his Mediatorial throne, they should address all their prayers to the Father in his name, “and in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” {John xvi. 23, 24} “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” {John xiv. 12-14} The privilege of asking in his name belongs exclusively to those who are embraced in his name; as all the members of a man’s body are included in his name, and as a wife is in the name of her husband, and as children are legally included in the name of their paternal parents, so the church of God, as the Lamb’s wife, and all her members, are members of his body, and covered by his name; and as his seed, or children, his name is their inheritance, and their approach unto God in his name implies a vital relationship to him; and his name is to them a strong tower, and perfect indemnity for all they need for time or for eternity. And the Holy Comforter shall lead them into all truth; for he shall take of the things of Jesus and show them unto them. This Spirit shall make intercession for them and in them, according to the will of God. Hence the gracious assurance is given, that whatsoever they are moved by the Holy Spirit to ask in the name of Christ shall be given them; for the Spirit will not lead them to ask for anything contrary to the mind and will of God. And as none can call Jesus Lord but by the Holy Ghost, so none can pray in his name but by the same Spirit. An inspired apostle has assured us that all our necessities are known and amply provided for by our heavenly Father. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” {Phil. iv. 19} But as we have not wisdom to discriminate between our need and what our carnal mind may crave, the blessed Spirit maketh intercession for us, withholding only what would be hurtful to us, and incompatible with the righteous will of God; for he will withhold no good thing from them who walk uprightly. —

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