daily devotional

I have a mental image each time I pray. An image of running back to Jesus on a dirt road just to tell him thank you for all he did for me. When I bow my head, it’s me running back to him. It’s me stopping everything else I’m doing to acknowledge all he has done.

This is a newer thing for me. It’s a shift that happened after studying the story of Jesus healing the lepers.

Luke 17 tells us the story of 10 men infected with leprosy calling out to Jesus for healing. It says “when he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. Jesus asked, “Were not all 10 cleansed? Where are the other 9? Has no one else returned to give praise to God?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go, your faith has made you well.”

Maybe you remember that devotional from a few months ago. It stuck with me and it’s changed the way I pray. I often say “Jesus, I’m running back to say thank you.”

Have you been coming back to tell him how everything worked out? Have you been coming back to tell him how beautiful your day was? Have you been coming back to acknowledge his power working in your life?

9 didn’t, but 1 did. 90% still won’t, only 10% will.

Be part of the 10% who runs back to say thank you instead of running forward in your busyness. Return and give your praise, show your gratitude, and ask for whatever it is you need next.

Yes, ask. Have you asked him for what you may need next?

Jesus gathered the disciples, his best friends, and shared a final meal with them. Here, he is preparing them for his death on the cross, telling them all they needed to know. He’s encouraging and equipping them. He warns them in this world they will have trouble, then he leaves them one thing greater than any weapon he could have given them. And what he left the disciples during his last supper, he offers to you and I today.

In John 16: 23-24 Jesus says, “My Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

We have power in the name of Jesus. Whatever you ask in his name, God will do. If you ask, you will receive. Jesus also said, you have not because you do not ask.

Let me ask you something, have you specifically prayed over your current circumstances? Have you come to God in the name of Jesus and asked him to work and move?

Why is it we will do everything else – we will stay up all night worrying, we will call our girlfriends and complain, we will cry to our mama, we’ll hash it out for hours with a counselor, but will we tap into the power Jesus left us here on Earth to overcome the trouble in this world?

How do you fight your battles my sister?

We view prayer as some ritual we must complete to look all spiritual. Bow your head, recite a little something you half-heartedly mean, check the boxes, throw out the name of Jesus and boom, we’re done. It’s what I often refer to as the “Blah, Blah, Blah Jesus Prayer”.

There’s no power in that.

Jesus came to replace the ritual and routine. He broke all the rules. He took the place of the sacrificial lamb and blood offering. He is the blood offering. He changed everything. Because of what he did on that cross for you, you now have power when you ask in his name.

What will you ask the Father in the name of the son today? If you ask, you will receive.

I wonder what is totally and completely available to you right now in your life, but you do not have it because you have not asked for it.

I wonder what breakthrough has been waiting for you, but you haven’t asked.

I wonder what provision is available, but you haven’t asked.

I wonder what strength and willpower has your name on it, designated specifically for you, but you continued to struggle on your own because you haven’t asked.

I wonder how God is willing to work on your behalf, moving mountains and breaking chains, if you would only come to him in the name of Jesus and ask.

As a believer and follower of Christ Jesus, we have power others do not. We have access to God almighty when using the name of Jesus. Are you using your power to access God, or is what Jesus came to give you going untapped?

Jesus said in John 10:10 “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Well … have you tapped into that? Are you asking God for the abundant life Jesus came to give you?

I’m not suggesting the ol’ “name it and claim it” like God is some kind of genie in a bottle and the magic word is Jesus. But what I am suggesting is, in the name of Jesus, God moves. In the name of Jesus, God’s power is released. In the name of Jesus, we are covered.

My friend, don’t wait until a crisis to ask for God’s help. Don’t wait until he is your only answer to ask. Don’t settle for those cheap prayers of “blah, blah, blah, Jesus.” No, there’s power in his name and that power has been given to you. USE IT.

Remember, Jesus said, “My Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” The answers may not always look as you imagined. You may end up broken down on the side of the road and you may completely miss that God was working the entire time to save you. But glory be to God, he was working! The door may slam in your face, but God may be closing that door to show you to a better one.

How many times has he rescued you? How many times has disaster been waiting, but because someone was praying, you were saved? How many times has God answered the prayers of someone you didn’t even know was praying for you?

I wonder who was praying for you in your stupid years. I wonder what changed because someone spoke the name of Jesus over your life.

My husband’s step mom began praying very specific prayers over him as a young teen. She asked God to bring the right friend into his life and let that friendship bring him in alignment with the life he was created for.

What she didn’t realize is that friend would actually be a girlfriend. That girlfriend was me. At 15 years old, God moved a family from Dallas, Texas to the tiny town of Ava, Missouri where we would meet and this would change the trajectory of both our lives. He needed me and I needed him. I truly believe this was a result of powerful prayers asked in the name of Jesus over my husband’s life.

And you better believe this girl has run back to Jesus a few hundred times to say thank you. I will be the one that comes back and recognizes what he has done. And while I’m there, I have a few more things to talk to him about. Jesus, my prodigal daughter. Jesus, where shall we go next? Jesus, what about those big dreams? Jesus, my soldiers.

Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. Did you see that? Jesus said this is how your joy will be complete. You know what that means … it means you don’t have to sit around and worry about it. When you pray in the name of Jesus, you can have joy.

Joy is a inherent lightness in a heavy world. This is what we receive when we pray about it … a lightness, a relief from our heavy load. Know that when you bring it to God in the name of Jesus, surrender the results to him, it is taken care of. YOU are taken care of. The rest is just details.

Prayer is so much more than a block to check on our worthy list. It’s more than a task or chore. It’s more than a ritual. This is direct access to the king of kings, the Lord almighty, who loves you wildly and wants to move on your behalf today.

Come back to tell him thank you for all he has done and boldly ask for the next step on your journey.