Friday, September 27, 2013

In His Name

Photo by Fay Godwin / Image Source

I like to do something I call "prayer walking." I got the idea from a book I once read on godly living,
and I love it because it combines the revitalizing nature of exercise with the nourishment that comes from talking to God. Plus, I always think it's most inspiring to pray outside in the world He gave us. After my prayer walks, my heart always feels energized and restored on more than one level.

The other day I was doing a loop around our neighborhood and thinking about how we often end prayers by saying, "In Your name I pray, Amen." Saying this feels so natural that I hardly think about what it means, but once I did start to reflect on it, it began to feel so incredibly powerful. In Your name. It's about the intention behind our words. To me, it means that we shouldn't be selfishly placing ourselves at the center of our thoughts and requests, but that instead, in every word we bring to God in prayer, we should be concentrating on Jesus Christ. Our prayers should be in God's honor, dedicated to Him, done for His glory and to forge a better relationship with Him. In keeping these three words at the forefront of our prayers, I thought, I bet there would be a better balance between the requesting kinds of prayers (the kind I find myself doing most of the time) and the thanksgiving kinds of prayers (the kind I should be doing more often).

My reflections on this also got me thinking about our obligations as Christians, not just in prayer but in the rest of our lives. Shouldn't we be doing all that we do in His name? Wouldn't everything have more meaning, wouldn't our lives be richer, if everything we did was done for God?

In Your name, I write. In Your name, I make dinner for my husband. In Your name, I teach this piano lesson. In Your name, I educate my mind. In Your name, I let go.

I think that keeping this mindset would make us less narcissistic, less dependent on what others think. It would encourage us to do each little job or task with grace and humility. It would give us the chance to serve God more fully.

In His name.

I know I will always fall short of where I should be. But I have hope that these three words might help me go about my days with God a little bit more closely aligned to center.


  1. What a refreshing thought for this morning! Thanks. I like how you wrote, "In your name, I write. In your name, I make dinner for my husband." Whatever little or big thing we do it's such a good way to acknowledge God and that we can glorify Him, even if it may seem mundane or ordinary.
    Have you read, "Ten Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp? You would probably really like it.

    I've enjoyed your posts this week and in my quiet moments have been mulling over the long article (forget the author) you linked about women at home versus at the workplace. -Totally agree with you that that article, albeit it long, was the most honest article regarding the struggle women face. Ultimately it is a conflict of the soul. I've been a stay at home mom for two years now. it has been a big transition from higher education and teaching and sometimes a challenge but my husband and I feel that what I'm doing is best for her and for our family.
    Have a great weekend!

  2. Thanks for all of this great feedback, Sarah, I'm so happy these things are resonating with you! I haven't read Ann Voskamp's book but I've heard a lot about it!

    Good for you for being brave enough to make sacrifices for your family. I really admire you for this! A great weekend to you, too :)

  3. This one of the only psalms I know I've chanted in both Episcopalian and Jewish services - in Hebrew it's called the Ashrei and is supposed to be sung responsively three times every day in the synagogue. It's one of the most important prayers about divine sovereignty in the whole liturgy. I thought of it after reading your post because of the opening verses...

    Psalm 145: 1-2
    I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.

  4. So beautiful, thanks for sharing that, and how interesting that it's the only psalm you sang that overlapped between faiths.

  5. I'm sure they all do at some point but clearly this is a big one!

  6. This is lovely, Kate. While I'm not particularly religious, I do love this concept of more mindfully bringing into everyday practice the intention of living for God. I think you're right on in predicting that the impact of doing this would make us less narcissistic, more humble, more connected to faith, and so on. In general, the idea of valued living, or having your behaviors match up with your values, really resonates with me, and I think it's the only way to really be happy and live with meaning. :)

  7. So glad this meant something to you, Sarah. Thanks for the lovely comment. Life certainly has more meaning when we live our lives for God.

  8. Beautifully written and so true!


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