I believe mightily in the power of little prayers offered in Jesus’ name. They’ve changed my life — my pace of life is slower, my way of life is more peaceful and joyful, my demeanor in stress is more ready to glorify God, my ability to love others is greater. I’ve seen the same effect in the lives of other people.
Perhaps I should offer a qualification. The kind of prayers that facilitate healing and transformation in Christlikeness are inspired by God and offered with our heart. In other words, as we’re praying we need to be relying on the Spirit of the Risen Christ and engaging our heart, which is our will. Learning to pray this way requires soul training.
Soul Training — “In Jesus’ Name”
“Train yourself to be godly,” Apostle Paul urged Pastor Timothy (1 Timothy 4:7). Much of the training to engage our hearts deeply with Jesus needs to occur in silence and solitude with him because that’s where we learn to set aside our compulsions to achieve and please and to instead find our rest and joy in him alone. It’s also a way we can get free from our anxious striving or our depressed lethargy and learn to maintain our concentration on God.
I’ve found that one of the most profitable things to do in times of quiet prayer is “abide” in a word from Scripture (John 15:7). For instance, here’s a Breath Prayer from the Bible that I like to use: “In Jesus’ name… Not my strain.” I paraphrased this from Psalm 20:7: “Some trust in chariots and some trust in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
Watch and Pray with a Breath Prayer
To put my body into this prayer I pray it as a Breath Prayer. This helps me to engage my mind and heart with the name of Jesus and the word of God.
I breathe in as I whisper or think, “In Jesus’ name…” My breathing in becomes a bodily prayer to take in, appreciate, and rely on the precious and powerful name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then I whisper or think, “Not my strain” as I exhale. My breathing out becomes a bodily prayer to let go of my tendency to push to make things happen for myself (which generates hurry, anxiety, and anger or depression when things don’t go my way).
It’s helpful to “watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41) with this prayer by applying it to a situation of stress or temptation. Perhaps my finances, an event I’m leading, or a situation of conflict. I fix that situation in my mind and offer it to the Lord. Then I use my Breath Prayer: “In Jesus’ name… Not my strain.” In other words, “Jesus, I trust you and rely on you alone… Not what I can achieve or who I can please.”