April 19, 2023

April 19, 2023

Author: Pastor Bernard Ibrahim
April 19, 2023

“Since we then have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4:14-16

In my recent meditations I have been thinking about how I can pray with greater faith; pray with greater intimacy with the Father; pray more like a son and less like a stranger. This is a very familiar passage that started my thinking of this topic. In the first seven chapters of Hebrews the writer is explaining to converted Jews who are under persecution why the new covenant that the Father gave to us is better than the old covenant. The sacrifice is better, the second Adam is better, the high priest is better. Everything is better under the new covenant that God gave us and saves us. Hebrews 4:14 talks about the better high priest.

This struck me thinking about these believers in great trials, being persecuted either by their former synagogue goers who have not believed in Christ; or those that they are living amongst, the Gentiles, wherever they happen to be in the Roman Empire; the ones that are following after false religion or that would see this as a threat to the government. They are going to be persecuted for their faith by all those around them and they are seeking grace to help in times of need. They are told by the writer, “You have a great high priest, go to Him, pray to the Father, go boldly or with confidence (depending on your translation) to the throne of grace.

Four encouragements to help us think right when we are going to the Father.

1. The Father has already given us His most precious. It’s a little bit mysterious to me, but he has already given us not only His Son, but He gave us a part of Himself. Romans 8:30-32, “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” So we can come boldly, or with confidence to the throne of grace to the Father because he has already given us his most precious Son.

2. The Father desires to give us good gifts, that is his heart disposition. This is from the Sermon on the Mount, similar to Luke 11 when Christ is teaching his disciples to pray, how to pray, and how we should think about ourselves when we pray. Matthew 7:7-11, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Now he talks about our relationship) Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, (we have sinned) know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Just a few verses earlier He said, “Pray like this, ‘Our Father who art in heaven.’” It is the same phrase here, your Father who is in heaven, his heart disposition is to give us good things. That is another reason why we can come with confidence to the throne of grace where the Father is.

3. The Father hears when we ask in Jesus’s name. It’s another encouragement. It’s given to us in the upper room discourse. Why do we say this phrase often when we end our prayers, “In Jesus name?” There is a lot of Biblical warrant for it from Jesus. He says in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” The Father chose us, He saved us, we saw that from the passage in Romans 8. He justified us and he desires that we would bear fruit. When we come to him we have another encouragement to come to him boldly, or with confidence when we ask the Father anything in the name of His Son.

4. This is hard for us to comprehend, similar to comprehending the Father giving his Son for us, his perfect Son, his only Son, a part of him, part of the Trinity; is the Father can do more than we can ask or think. This is of course that passage, that really glory message, that we have in Ephesians 3:20, 21, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us (I believe that’s referring to the Holy Spirit), to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” We can come with confidence by the Spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to the throne of grace, the throne of grace of the Father because he is able to do more than we can ask or think.

My encouragement to myself and to you brothers and sisters is that when we pray, we pray with great confidence because of all these realities. That we ask in Jesus name; that the Father desires to give to us good gifts; he has already given us our salvation through the sacrifice of his most precious gift; he is not going to withhold anything lesser because he has already given us the greatest gift of all time.