Author Steven Lake

Holy Name Dropping
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 10:33am
Keywords: (None)
One of the bad habits of a lot of people these days is what's called "Name Dropping."  It's the habit where, if want something badly enough, you'll say "I know so and so and he'd do this" or "So and so is my friend" in order to get what you want.  Basically it allows you to stand on someone else's name, rather than your own, and get many of the same honors and privileges the other person would get where they there.  If used properly it's not a bad thing to do and is even encouraged by Jesus.

John 14:14 (KJV) - "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."

Holy name dropping.  Interesting, no?  So what's the problem with it?  Well, too often it's misused, and grossly so on many an occasion.  So how is name dropping, in this case calling upon Christ's name when requesting something, misused in our daily prayers?  It's when we treat it like a magic talisman to get our own way when requesting things in prayer.  IE, when our own will is expressed in a prayer rather than God's will.  Allow me to explain by stepping back one verse in John to add some context to this.

John 14:13 (KJV) - "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

Bingo!  There's the key.  Our prayers, while they may often be requests for our own well being, or that of others, are one of the many tools God has given us by which we are to give glory to God.  So when we pray and add, "In Jesus's Name" or "in the name of Jesus" to our prayers we're asking God to move on our behalf.  But when we do this we should also be asking that God's will to be done in the fulfilling of this request, and not our own.  Where we start going wrong is when our prayers become based on OUR WILL and not God's.

That's when our holy name dropping becomes wrongly used.  This can happen with simple things like prayers for food, praying flippantly (yes, everyone does it from time to time, so don't deny that you do it too.) for something you want that doesn't bring glory to God (Lord, let the Lions win today, in Jesus name!) or if your prayer is not rendered with a sincerity of heart.  Think of it like this.  You go into a restaurant and say, "I'd like to order a cheeseburger, in Steven's name."  Sounds stupid, doesn't it?  What reason is there to say you're ordering that cheeseburger in my name if it'll end up in your belly?

Doing so is pointless not just from that standpoint, but also the fact that, if you have the cash and they have that burger available for sale you're gonna get it anyways, right?  So where's the value in name dropping?  There is none.  If anything, using a name flippantly like that will actually reduce its power and effectiveness, and may even result in such names being ignored, meaning that any once powerful name will eventually become of no effect.  Yes, I understand that Jesus is God, but at the same time any name, even His, if used flippantly enough, will eventually be ignored.

That's why we need to be careful how we pray.  Yes, we do need to use the name of Jesus in our prayers, as He even told us to do so.  But we need to use it wisely, just like any other resource God has given us.  While I can't say with certainty that we'll be called into account for how we used Jesus's name on judgment day, I'm pretty sure it'll still be one of the things we'll have to answer for.  Why?  Because it's a gift from God, and thus we're responsible for how it's used.

So again, in conclusion, I am in no way saying that we shouldn't use the name of Jesus in our prayers.  What I am saying is that we need to use discernment and be circumspect in how we use this valuable resource from God.  As with any gift from Him, we should always have in the back of our minds the question, "Will the way I am using this, or what I am doing, bring glory to God?"  If you can't honestly, before God himself, say yes to that, I caution against using the name of Jesus in your prayer.  In cases like that I strongly recommend using a prayer like this instead, as it once again puts God and His will in the forefront.  "Lord, if it be your will, allow this to happen."

That then puts the ball back in God's court and His will while at the same time taking it out of our hands, and out of our own will.  Then, if He so chooses for your request to be fulfilled, He then gets the glory, and not you, which is the way all prayers should be: That God gets the glory first, always, and every time.  We are not here for our own glory.  We are here for God's glory, and therefore to be proper, effective servants for Him we need to always remember that, and the proper use of Jesus's name is one of those things.
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