Praying by the power and authority of the Son

The Delighting in the Trinity series continues in this post by looking at praying to the Father in the Son. The next post will add the final piece to the equation of praying through the Spirit. This post focuses on what it means to pray in the Son, mainly, is there something Christians must do or is it done by the power and work of the Son and we come in submission. This posts reminds us of what Christ did and how that translates to all areas of a Christians life. This will help believers to pray God’s will.

A gift of the Son

“For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Eph 2:18). As seen in Matthew 6:9, we are to direct our prayers to the Father, who is the supreme authority over all, even the exalted Son. Jesus, who sits at the right hand of the Father (Eph 1:20), and who the Father put all things under (Eph 1:21-22; 1 Cor 15:27-28), has given us “access to the Father.” Our prayers are to be extended to the Father through Jesus Christ, because it is through Jesus Christ that we are saved and have access to the Father. Thus Christians are to direct their prayers to the Father but come “in the name” of the Son. Christians are to recognize that the only way to come into the presence of God is to come in Christ’s authority, clothed in Him.[1] “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God,” (Heb 10:19-21) we can draw near to God with a sincere heart and a confident assurance that only faith in Christ can bring. Jesus Christ, then, is our only access to the Father, and by His name and atoning work, we can enter the throne room of grace with confidence where the Father sits awaiting those clothed in the righteousness of Christ.[2]

Therefore, Christians are clothed in Christ’s righteousness, but because Jesus died, was raised to life, and now sits at the right hand of God, He is “also interceding for us” (Rom 8:34). There are times we may feel separated from God, or there are those who say there is no God, but God is never without humankind. Humanity is in the presence of God and He knows humanity, sees everything and judges it, and does it all through the person of Jesus Christ, who was obedient and the object of the Father’s delight.[3] “God looks at Christ, and it is through him that he looks at us. We have, therefore, a representative before God.”[4] Calvin even says that “we pray through the mouth of Jesus Christ, who speaks for us because of what he has been, because of what he has suffered in obedience and faithfulness to his Father. And we ourselves pray as though with his mouth, inasmuch as he gives us access and audience, and intercedes for us.”[5] John 14 displays the power of Jesus as a Christian’s intercessor. Jesus promises that we can ask for anything in His name and He will do it so that the Father may be glorified (in accordance to the Father’s will). In addition, Jesus “will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth” (John 14:13-14, 16-17).

[1] Grenz, Theology for the Community of God, 356.

[2] Ware, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit, 152.

[3] Karl Barth, Prayer, 14.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

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