The fifth suggestion has already been referred to, but should be repeated here. Prayer must be in Jesus’ name. The relationship of prayer is through Jesus. And the prayer itself must be offered in His name, because the whole strength of the case lies in Jesus. I recall distinctly a certain section of this country where I was for awhile, and very rarely did I hear Jesus’ name used in prayer. I heard men, that I knew must be good men, praying in church, in prayer-meeting and elsewhere with no mention of Jesus. Let us distinctly bear in mind that we have no standing with God except through Jesus.
If the keenest lawyer of London, who knew more of American law, and of Illinois statute and of Chicago ordinance—suppose such a case—were to come here, could he plead a case in your court-house? you know he could not. He would have no legal standing here. Now you and I have no standing at yonder bar. We are disbarred through sin. Only as we come through one who has recognized standing there can we come.
But turn that fact around. As we do come in Jesus’ name, it is the same as though Jesus prayed. It is the same as though—let me be saying it very softly so it may seem very reverent—as though Jesus put His arm in yours and took you up to the Father, and said, “Father, here is a friend of mine; we’re on good terms. Please give him anything he asks, for My sake.” And the Father would quickly bend over and graciously say, “What’ll you have? You may have anything you ask when My Son asks for it.” That is the practical effect of asking in Jesus’ name.
But I am very, very clear of this, and I keep swinging back to it that in the ultimate analysis the force of using Jesus’ name is that He is the victor over the traitor prince. Prayer is repeating the Victor’s name into the ears of Satan and insisting upon his retreat. As one prays persistently in Jesus’ name, the evil one must go. Reluctantly, angrily, he must loosen his clutches, and go back.
The Birthplace of Faith.
The sixth suggestion is a familiar one, and yet one much misunderstood. Prayer must be in faith. But please note that faith here is not believing that God can, but that He will. It is kneeling and making the prayer, and then saying, “Father, I thank Thee for this; that it will be so, I thank Thee.” Then rising and going about your duties, saying, “that thing is settled.” Going again and again, and repeating the prayer with the thanks, and then saying as you go off, “that matter is assured.” Not going repeatedly to persuade God. But because prayer is the deciding factor in a spirit conflict and each prayer is like a fresh blow between the eyes of the enemy, a fresh broadside from your fleet upon the fort.