Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion.’
Lord Mountbatten (1900-1979) was the last Viceroy sent by the British Crown to rule India, half a world away. He was the uncle of Prince Philip and second cousin to Queen Elizabeth and empowered to act “in the place of royalty” (vice, “in the place of”, Latin, + roy, “royalty”, French). As the royal Viceroy he wielded the full power of the British Empire in India. While in India he advised the Crown on policy and could request the funds and resources necessary to carry out that policy. He could ask for whatever monies and troops were needed to maintain British rule.
Today’s Scripture, taken from the first page of the Bible, speaks of humankind as empowered to act as God’s representatives and “Viceroys” over the earth. God has created us in His “image” and given us “dominion”. We are put here in place of the King and empowered to act in behalf of His Kingdom. In doing this we are commanded to be fruitful, filling and subduing the earth, and exercising royal dominion. It is God’s will that all that is done on earth be carried out by those who bear His divine image. All the while we act under God’s authority the destiny of the earth has been placed in our hands.
All of this brings us to the subject of prayer: God has given us the authority to request whatever resources and powers are required for us to carry out His mandate. He actually authorizes us to ask “in Jesus’ name” (John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23-27). This means that at our request God will pour out His power and His blessings on earth. But as James reminds us in Scripture: “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Is it any surprise that the Evil One pulls out all the stops to keep you and me from praying! “Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest saint on his knees” (Anonymous).
Andrew Murray in his classic, With Christ in the School of Prayer, describes our power in prayer:
Prayer is not merely the cry of the suppliant for mercy; it is the highest putting-forth of his will by man, knowing himself to be of Divine origin, created for and capable of being, in king-like liberty, the executor of the counsels of the Eternal…Bearing God’s image, man belongs to God: prayer to God is what he was created for.
In submission to our Divine Sovereign, let us now act as His royal Viceroys! Created in His image, God has crowned us with such dignity that there are things He cannot do, but that His Viceroys ask. So let us ask! Ask for what His Kingdom needs. Ask for what our churches, families, and nation need. God waits for us!
Grace and peace,
photo by Taston