In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean . . . 

Public officials will sometimes announce the passage of a law or decision with the words “By the authority vested in me . . . ” They’re saying that they are “vested” or “clothed” with an authority that is higher than their own. More than simply naming that authority, they’re saying that this authority has been given to them. Whether it’s a federal constitution or a state law, that’s the authority that makes the official’s statement effective.

That is what Peter was doing when he prayed for this man to finally be able to walk. He was acting on behalf of a higher authority—Jesus Christ. He wasn’t just saying Jesus’ name for effect. Peter had been commissioned by Jesus. He had been filled with Jesus’ Spirit at Pentecost. That gave him and the other apostles Jesus’ own power to heal, to evangelize, and to be witnesses to the world. Peter believed in this power because he had seen Jesus heal and heard him say, “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these” (John 14:12).

As baptized Christians, we have all been given that authority too. Like the disciples, we too have been sent to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Like Peter, we can call on the name of Jesus. Take a moment to think about how powerful that name is. It is mightier than any other name. It’s the name to which all of creation must bow (Philippians 2:9-10).

So the next time you are praying for something difficult, don’t just think about the difficulty. Think about whom you’re praying to: Jesus, whose name means “God saves.” He has sent you with his authority to do his works. When you call on him with a sincere heart, he will come to you. When you say his name with reverence, he is there with you. It’s true whether you pray for a friend’s healing or your own. It’s true whether you ask for patience, strength, wisdom, or peace. It’s true even if your prayer isn’t answered exactly how or when you hoped it would be. Jesus hears you. So don’t fail to call on his name!

“Lord Jesus Christ, I praise you for your powerful name!”

Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
Luke 24:13-35
Acts 3:1-10


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