Who listens to your prayers?

27 December 2019

Series: Shabbat sermons

Topic: Bible, prayer, truth

Who listens to your prayers?

There are two fundamental doctrines in the life of a Christian, we pray in Jesus’ name, and we believe Jesus kept the law for us so He could atone for our sins at the cross. When we pray in Jesus’ name, it comes naturally to us to glorify and praise the name of Jesus when our prayers get answered. This is why Christians often say things like, “thank you, Jesus! / all glory to the Lord”. We say things like this even though we know “the Lord” is not a name, but we choose to say it anyway because we believe Jesus is Lord. So when our prayers get answered, we honor Jesus, and we thank Him for what He has done in our lives.

There is one other important doctrine in the life of a Christian; what we believe, what we think does not matter if it comes into conflict with the Bible. This one crucial doctrine fueled the reformation and convinced Martin Luther to rebel against the Catholic church and their unscriptural traditions. This is probably the essential doctrine of all, but this is also the one that gets so easily overlooked by most Christians. The sad thing is this; most Christians dont read their Bibles, so their faith is mostly built on tradition instead of scriptural truth.

The doctrine that makes us Christians is this: We Christians believe Jesus never sinned, and because He was without sin, He could atone for us at the cross. No matter what you think about the Torah (the Mosaic law) today, you have to believe this to be a Christian. Our faith in the sinless lamb of God is what makes us Christians, and it is what atones for our sins.

Because we believe Jesus was sinless, we believe He was fully able to obey by every commandment in the Mosaic law. In the Mosaic law (the Torah), in Deut 13, we are warned against false prophets. In this commandment, it says anyone who does great and wonderful miracles but tells others not to worship Yehovah or gives glory to another god, is a false prophet. It also means anyone who does great and wonderful wonders but tells others to disobey Yehovah, is a false prophet. So, according to the Torah, if you want to be a real prophet of Yehovah, you have obey Yehovahs Torah and tell everyone to worship and glorify only Yehovah.

If we believe Jesus was the sinless lamb of God, we have to believe He obeyed by this commandment to always at all times worship and obey Yehovah. If He at any time told anyone to disobey Yehovah or to worship and give honor and glory to anyone else but Yehovah, He would no longer be sinless and no longer able to atone for us. This is why Yehoshua (Yeshua/Jesus) teaches His disciples how to obey the Torah (Matt 23:2, 6:25-34) and always to glorify Yehovah. (Matt 6:25-34, John 12:28, Matt 6:9)

Paul says in 1. Cor 11, he imitated the life of Yehoshua and encouraged his readers to do the same. If he imitated the life of Yehoshua, it goes without saying he obeyed the Torah, taught everyone else to follow the Torah, and always glorified Yehovah and only Yehovah.

There is no denying this; every one with access to a Bible can check and see for themselves. So why then do we as Christians believe it is now ok to disobey Yehovah and His Torah? Why then do we as Christians believe Paul had a “special revelation of grace,” and Yeshua suddenly changed His mind about the Torah and obedience? The Bible says if Paul had told everyone not to obey the Torah, he would have been a false prophet (Deut 13). If Yehoshua (Yeshua/Jesus) had suddenly changed His mind about the Torah, He would no longer be sinless, and we would be without a sacrifice for our sins.

We should be very grateful Yehoshua told us to obey the Torah because this proves He was really the Messiah and guarantees we have a sacrifice for our sins. Deut 13 also tells us only to glorify Yehovah, so when then do we as Christians glorify Jesus?

When we Christians pray, we are used to ending our prayers with the phrase “in Jesus’ name.” When our prayers get answered, we believe Jesus did a great thing for us, and we honor and glorify Him. Why do we do this? Because we think John 14:13 tells us to “pray in Jesus name.”

If Yehoshua (Jesus/Yeshua) had said “pray in My name” in John 14:13, He would have told us to glorify Him instead of Yehovah. This would be in violation with Deut 13, which tells us only to glorify and obey Yehovah, and Isaiah 42:8 where Yehovah says He does not share His glory with anyone. This is why we know for sure Yehoshua could not have meant “every time you say the phrase in Jesus’ name” in John 14:13. He had to be referring to something else.

When Yehoshua lived among us, He and His disciples did not have a New Testament. When Paul lived, he did not have a new testament. It would be another 300 years until there existed a new testament, so everything they said, taught and did was based solely on the Old Testament.  The Old Testament was the Bible Paul, Yehoshua, and His disciples used. If we want to understand what Yehoshua meant, what Paul meant, and what the disciples of Yehoshua meant, we have first to understand the Old Testament. Everything they said, did and taught has to be interpreted through the Old Testament.

Nowhere in the New Testament Gospels do we see Yehoshua saying He acted on His own. He did only the things He saw His Father Yehovah do. So when Yeshua healed someone or raised someone from the dead, it was because of Yehovah.  Paul confirms this when he says in Rom 8:32 Yehovah, who has given us His Son, will provide us with everything else we need. Yehoshua Himself says in Matt 6:25-34, everything we need comes from Yehovah His Father.

So why then do we pray “in Jesus name”?

When Yehoshua in John 14:23 tells His disciples to pray in His name, He uses the Hebrew word, Shem. Shem has several different meanings; it could mean the given name of a person or their reputation. We know because of Deut 13, Isaiah 42:8, and our faith in Yehoshua as the sinless lamb of God, He could not have referred to His given name Yehoshua. If He had, He would no longer be sinless. Instead, He has to refer to His reputation.

We see this in 1. John 2:6, where it says everyone who claims to be one with Yehoshua, has to live their lives the way He did. And we see this in 1. Cor 11, where Paul says he imitates the life of Yehoshua and encourages his readers to do the same. We also see this in John 5:42, where Yehoshua says, “listen to Me, obey Me but believe in Yehovah who sent Me, and you will have eternal life.”

So what does it mean to pray “in Jesus name”? It means that we obey Him, and we live our lives the way He did. It does not mean that we say the phrase “in Jesus’ name” when we pray. He never prayed “in Jesus’ name” by saying the words; He prayed in Jesus’ name by being who He was and still is an obedient Son praying in the name of His Father Yehovah.

How are we to pray?

Yehoshua gives us the answer to this question in John 14:14 if we live our lives as He lived, our prayers will be heard. We have to do what Paul urges us to do in 1. Cor 11 to imitate the life of Yehoshua. Just as He obeyed the Torah, we have to obey the Torah. He prayed to Yehovah, so we have to pray to Yehovah in Yehovah’s name. So actually, instead of saying “in Jesus name,” we should be saying “in Yehovah’s name” because that is what Yehoshua did and His disciples. (Rom 10:13)

Obey the Torah, believe Yehovah will meet your needs, pray in Yehovah’s name, remain reconciled to Yehovah by faith in the cross, and the Bible says your prayers will be answered and heard.

So what happens if we do not do this?

As Christians, we have to choose between what we want, like, feel, think, and what the Bible says. If the Bible contradicts what we want, think, feel, like the Bible has to have precedence in our lives. Traditions do not matter anymore if they come into conflict with the Bible.

Most Christians today never study or read their Bible, so they live their faith based on tradition, not on Biblical truth.

The Bible says in Psalm 4 if we call upon or pray to Yehovah using another name out of ignorance, He will still hear us and answer our prayers. Most Christians today are ignorant of what you have learned today because most Christians do not take their time to read their own Bible. Yehovah still hears and replies to their prayers because He sees their hearts.

If you, on the other hand, know what the Bible says, it becomes a different matter. When you know the Bible says we are to pray in Yehovah’s name, but we choose to ignore this, it is no longer Yehovah answering our prayers. This is a scary thought if it is not Yehovah answering our prayers then who it is?

The Bible says in Rom 1-3 Yehovah will allow us to be deceived if we choose to ignore the truth. So He will let other demonic forces to answer our prayers so we can be further deceived if we want to ignore the reality.

What if we are praying for someone else who does not know the truth?

The Bible says, when we pray for someone, they have to have some measure of faith to receive. It does not matter how much, but they have to have some measure of faith.

If you used the name Yehovah when praying for a sincere mainstream Christian, he or she would probably believe you had become a Jehovah’s witness and lose every faith they had in your prayer. So even though we should pray in the name of Yehovah, we should also make sure we are not doing anything to ruin the faith of those we pray for.

This is why you should use language and phrases they are most comfortable with. If they are mainstream Christian, use the name of Jesus, God, Lord, or Father. From Psalm 4, you know you are not doing anything wrong, Yehovah knows you use those titles and names to help the person you are praying for who does not yet know the truth. In Psalm 4, He promises to answer your prayer for them because He sees their heart and knows they dont believe the truth yet out of ignorance.

Would it be the right thing to do to explain the truth to them?

Not always, sometimes time will not permit or other factors make it impossible to do so there and then. The most important thing is to pray for them, and if time permits and you have an opportunity, by all means, explain to them the truth if time permits.

The most important thing is this, you need to know the truth and act on it for yourself.

So choose today to ignore tradition and obey the Torah by calling upon and praying to Yehovah in Yehoshua’s (Jesus/Yeshua’s) name.