Why do we pray in Jesus’ name?
“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” ~ John 14:13-14
I will soon be preaching on the passage where Jesus was praying from the Garden of Gethsemane. My mind has begun thinking about prayer in anticipation of that sermon. Recently, I had a conversation with someone about God and how we should pray. This person asked some great questions that made me think about prayer. Praying to God is something that seems to come natural to me. What I mean by that is that I was born into a family that prayed before meals and before bed every night. I learned how to pray at a young age by listening to my parents and older siblings.
Many people pray in many different ways. Differences occur in how we address God (i.e. “Dear Heavenly Father, Dear God, Lord…) and sometimes in how we close our prayers. For this devotional, I wanted to evaluate how we (at least how I) typically end our prayers. Specifically I wanted to look at why it is we so often close our prayers by praying this is “in Jesus’ name.” Why is that? Have you ever really put some thought as to why you do this? Is this particular phrase helpful or is it in danger of becoming just another mindless repetition? Clearly, it doesn’t mean that if we add it after every prayer, something magical happens; that God only hears us when we say this phrase. So if not this, then why do we do it?
A couple thoughts: First, to pray according to Jesus’ name is to pray on his authorization. It means that we come to the Father based upon the authorization of the Son. We can speak with him not because of our righteousness, but because of Christ’s. Because of the death of His Son Jesus Christ, the wrath of God towards us has been quenched and we can reach to the Father in prayer.
But that’s not all. Secondly, to pray according to Jesus’ name is to mean that we pray in a way that is consistent with Jesus’ character. We pray along with what we think he would pray for. We pray in accordance with his will, and not our wishes. We get before the Lord and all of a sudden, it’s not our wish-list that begins to surface, but prayers in line with his will.
So is it okay to tag “in Jesus’ name,” at the end of every prayer? The answer to that question depends simply on the heart of the prayer. If it’s a statement related to the character and authorization of Christ, then go for it.
This daily devotional was written by Pastor Daryl Evans a writer at What Christians Want To Know. To read more at What Christians Want To Know check out this article, or follow WCWTK on Facebook for daily Christian encouragement.