What’s in a Name?

Many years ago some friends of ours prayed for healing of my glaucoma at a large Christian gathering at Shea Stadium in New York.  After a talk on healing, the speaker encouraged the audience to pray with one another for whatever needs people may have had.  The friends we were with knew of my glaucoma, put their hands on my head, and prayed in the name of Jesus that the field of vision that had been lost would be restored.    

It just so happened that the following Monday I had an annual field of vision test with my ophthalmologist.  I will always remember his words at the initial diagnosis that while we might be able to preserve the field of vision I still had, I would never be able to recover the approximate one-third of my vision that had been lost.

While he conducted the test, I heard him continue to say, “Hum.”  After about the fourth hum, I asked if there was something wrong.  He said, “Well, you seem to have a full field of vision.  I said, “I thought you told me that I could never recover the vision that I had lost.”  He said, “Yes, I did.”  When I told him where I had been on Saturday and that some friends had prayed with me for healing, he said, “Well, I will take all the help I can get.”

After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit following Jesus’ ascension, Peter and John were entering the temple one day, and Peter healed a crippled beggar.  The onlookers were astonished and everyone wondered how this happened.  Peter boldly proclaimed, “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.”(Acts 3:16 NIV)

Do we treat the name of Jesus with the same awe and wonder as Peter and the early followers of Jesus?  Have we allowed the name of Jesus to become so familiar and common as to strip it of its power and majesty? 

Peter was simply doing what Jesus had instructed the apostles to do.  “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these.”  And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  (John 14:12-13)

I realize that not all prayers in the name of Jesus by faithful Christians appear to be answered.  Yet, might we not take Jesus at his word, have greater awe and reverence for his name, and act with the same faith as Peter did with the crippled beggar?

When was the last time that you prayed in the name of Jesus for healing or other needs?

2 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

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