God’s Power of Attorney

It was forty-two years ago when God put me on an airplane to begin a journey with Him that would take me into many foreign countries. There have been wonderful times, tiring times, hard times, dangerous times, but always adventurous and joyful times. During the first twenty years, before the advent of the internet which has linked communications around the world, I had to rely on snail mail and monthly, very short, (international calls were expensive) phone calls.

It was during this time I decided to give my parents power of attorney over my affairs, because sometimes my travels took me places where I could not be contacted for long periods of time. If some urgent matter presented itself, my parents could use the power of attorney to take care of it for me. They were lawfully able to make a decision “in my name.” They knew me well; therefore, were able to make a decision based on what they knew I would do had I been there. They were acting completely on my behalf and in accordance with my will. If they had not known me, they could not have done this properly.

There is a widely misunderstood Bible verse that has to do with asking and receiving. In John 14:13-14, Jesus says emphatically, “You can ask for anything in my name and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in My name, and I will do it.” This is God giving us His “power of attorney.” You see, when we pray, asking for something, we are acting on His behalf. We are making a decision to ask for something that we know would bring glory to Him, that would be something He would want, too.

I know there are elements to prayer such as waiting. Often we are praying for something right now, when God knows it’s better to wait. There are also times when we are praying for something good, but because God sees the end from the beginning, He knows He must say no in that instance. The story of Lazarus recorded in John 11 is an excellent example of both, saying no and to wait. Things must be done in just the right time and God knows when that time is perfect.

Sometimes we pray out of nothing more than want. We want a new car or a better job. We stake claim on John 14:14 and we pray in His name, but our claiming is being used as if His name were a type of magic wand. Like a magician we command, as if saying Abracadabra, and poof! what we want comes to pass. That type of praying isn’t using our “power of attorney” correctly.

When we pray we must first check our own heart’s attitude, asking — Will what I ask bring glory to God? Is what I desire in keeping with His own character? Am I truly asking on behalf of Him or am I asking on behalf of myself? Honesty is needed in prayer because we are using our holy “power of attorney.” This certainly doesn’t mean we are not to bring our personal needs to Him. Oh, yes! Bring every worry and concern. He cares. We can pray “in His name” when we ask Him to take care of our needs as He sees best and to give us His own comfort and courage to accept those things that are difficult to bear. That prayer brings glory to Him because we are showing our trust in Him to be our everything to get us through anything.

A power of attorney must be used carefully, with much thought. Our spiritual power of attorney is best used after much meditation on God’s Word. The more we spend in His Word, the better we come to know Him and His heart. During time spent alone with Him, we ask to be guided by the Holy Spirit. We also ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts, asking for forgiveness in areas where the Holy Spirit shows us that we have sinned. When using our God-given power of attorney, we must approach the throne of God with a clean heart, a heart that loves Him deeply, that truly desires His will be done. Jesus gave the best example of that type of heart when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew He was about to be crucified. He prayed, asking His Father to please let there be another way, but then He added in total trust, “not my will but thine be done.” That event is recorded in Matthew 26.

When we ask anything in His name with the above attitude, it is a blessing of joy and peace to us, because we sense we are in alignment with the very heart of God. The Holy Spirit will then guide us in our prayers, giving us faith in the outcome. Such holy alignment will always correctly use — God’s power of attorney.

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