What Does It Mean to Pray In Jesus’ Name?
Well, the short answer is “because he told us to” in John 16:24:
Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.–John 16:24
When I was a kid, I used to think “in Jesus’ name” was like a stamp on the envelope of my prayer. If I forgot to say “in Jesus’ name” before my “amen,” my prayer wouldn’t get delivered to God’s mailbox. Isn’t that funny? So what does “in Jesus’ name” actually mean?
To pray in Jesus’ name means to pray in the authority of that name, much like using the phrase “in the name of the law” to assert the authority of the law. The use of Jesus’ name is prayer is so much more than a postscript or an authoritative letterhead. It’s more than a formality.
To pray effectively in Christ’s name, we must be “in” Him–in union with his life and death. In his letters, Paul uses the prepositions “in” and “together” with to emphasize the connectedness of the believer to Christ and His authority and power.
TRUE OR FALSE: Praying in Jesus’ name gives our prayers extra power
False. The truth is, prayers are completely powerless in the first place unless they are “in Jesus.” Without Christ’s intercession, no prayers would make it to the ears of God. The reason we are told to pray in and by his authority is not as some magic formula, but to put our own spirits and our own thinking in the right place–under and in him.
We should think of our prayers as Christ’s own prayers through us, inspired and led by the Holy Spirit. God has already planned out the good works we are to walk in; these include our prayers (Ephesians 2:10). Seeing our prayers as Jesus’ prayers through us should cause us to rethink what we ask for. It should also cause us to think about our union with Christ. Real authority always flows from the author. Are we connected to the Author and Perfecter of our faith?
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Jesus has many names in both the Old and New Testament and each name shows Him in a different light. For example, “Emmanuel/Immanuel” means “Jesus is God with us” and is referenced in Isaiah and Matthew; “Messiah” means “Jesus is Messiah” and is referenced in Daniel and John; and “Redeemer” means “Jesus is our redemption” and is referenced in Job. The Names of Jesus eChart from Rose Publishing contains 10 different Names of Jesus, the meaning and related titles for each name, as well as Bible references where the name can be found. The Names of Jesus eChart is a great study tool to help you better understand our Lord and Savior. Download it now!
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