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Aim of Prayer

The aim of prayer is not to force God’s hand or make him do our will against his own, but to deepen our knowledge of him and our fellowship with him through contemplating his glory, confessing our dependence and need, and consciously embracing his goals. Our asking therefore must be according to God’s will and in Jesus’ name.

The context of such asking is assured faith. In that day when Jesus teaches them, by the Spirit, plainly of the Father, there will be no question of enlisting Jesus’ support in prayer, as if he were more merciful than the Father or could influence him in a way that they could not; in that day they will know inwardly that as believers they are the Father’s beloved.

To asked in Jesus’ name is not to use a verbal spell but to base our asking on Christ’s saving relationship to us through the cross; this will involve making petitions which Christ can endorse and put his name to. When God answers in Jesus’ name, he gives through Jesus as our mediator and to Jesus as the one who will be glorified through what is given.

Your Father Loves You by James Packer, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986, page for July 18

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