The “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend. We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.
FIVE BY FIVE*, LESSON 2: God answers prayer.
“…In Jesus’ name…” We throw those words on to the end of our prayers as though they were a postage stamp or magical phrase that will result in our prayers being answered. I am as guilty as the next guy in this regard. “In Jesus’ name” has become just as rote as saying, “amen” at the end of a prayer. It is interesting to consider that “in Jesus’ name” does not appear at the end of any prayers in the Bible. So what does it mean to pray, “in Jesus’ name,” and why is it the key to answered prayer?
Thinking about the answer to this question brought to mind an incident that occurred some years ago. I was suffering with a kidney stone. Those of you who have had one will attest to the agony. I went to a hospital where I sat (or rather, writhed) in pain while the receptionist asked me about my address, my insurance, and my medical history. She then informed me that I had to wait for admittance even though there were apparently no other patients in the waiting area in as much pain. I asked her to reconsider, but to no avail. Then something happened. A good friend of mine, who also happened to be a doctor – and, at the time, the Mayor of the city we were in – came through the front door. When he saw me there, doubled over on the floor, he took my hand, told the receptionist he was taking me into the attending room and admitting me immediately in his name. The receptionist just nodded in disbelief as I was whisked past her and into the hospital where I was attended to quickly and courteously all at the direction of my friend, the Mayor. It pays to know people in places of authority, and as Christ-followers we have access to the highest of all authority. To pray “in Jesus’ name” is to come before the Father in the authority of the Son. This is not a little authority either. Jesus said that, “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” All authority is just that – all.
We will be exploring with the children this week what it means to pray in the authority of Jesus and the importance of the “will” of God in those prayers. As you meditate on our passages and theme for this week consider how you might communicate these truths from your own life stories.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God… -1 John 5:14a
MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
1 John 5:14-15
*What does “5 by 5” mean? In spoken communication over two-way radios, a transmitting station may request a report on the quality of signal they are broadcasting. “Five by five” means a signal that has excellent strength and perfect clarity — the most understandable signal possible.