Praying Lesson 5: Praying in Jesus’ Name

Lesson 5: Praying in Jesus’ Name

We commonly end our prayers with the short expression, “in Jesus’ name, amen.” Why should we do this? What is the significance of praying in Jesus’ name?


Note several things we should keep in mind regarding prayer in Jesus’ name.

  1. The Bible instructs believers to pray in Jesus’ name.

John 14:13-14  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

John 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

John 16:23-24  And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Col 3:17And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

  1. Prayer in Jesus’ name has specific implications.
    1. The significance of a name
      1. In our culture, one’s personal name has little significance beyond designation or description. E.g., most first names have no particular meaning.
      2. But “name” may have a broader connotation, referring to one’s reputation, as in “he has a good name in the community,” or “don’t drag my name through the mud.”
      3. In Bible times, one’s name stood for his person or character. One’s name stood for oneself. See Psalm 5:11, 20:1; John 17:11-12. The Jews had such reverence for God’s name that they would not pronounce it.
      4. Prayer in Jesus’ name implies approaching God based on Jesus’ person and work.
        1. We are unworthy sinners who have no right to expect anything from God. Our access to God is based solely on Christ’s merit. If we are in union with Christ (i.e., saved), then we have the right to approach God in prayer by virtue of Jesus’ work on our behalf. God hears those who are “in Christ.” Access to God always and only comes through Christ (John 14:6; Eph 2:18; Heb 10:19).

What does this imply about the prayers of those who come some other way? What about those who have not applied the merits of Christ to themselves (i.e., they are not saved)?

  1. Prayer in Jesus’ name means that our prayers are consistent with the person and work of Christ. We pray in a way that is in harmony with what we know him to be.

What does this imply about requests that are at odds with the person and work of Christ?

  1. Prayer in Jesus’ name means that we pray for what he would want for us. To pray in his name means praying like he would pray. We ask for what we think Jesus would want for us. Essentially, this means praying according to God’s will (1 John 5:14).

What does this imply about prayer outside of God’s will?

  1. Prayer in Jesus’ name means praying by his authority (Heb 4:16). Believers have the right to approach God in prayer because Jesus has given us that right. We do not assume this right unlawfully or inappropriately, but by his permission.
  2. Prayer in Jesus’ name means that Jesus fully sympathizes with us in our infirmities and temptations as a faithful high priest (Heb 4:14-15). He understands our problems.
  3. Prayer in Jesus’ name is not some kind of mysterious formula that unlocks God’s storehouse of blessings. Merely reciting the words “in Jesus’ name” during prayer has no magical power. Prayer in Jesus’ name is an expression of one’s understanding of who Christ is and what he has done to make prayer possible. In fact, tacking on the words “in Jesus’ name” is not necessary for one to pray in Jesus’ name. If you are approaching God on the basis of Jesus’ work for you, consistent with God’s will, and by his authority, you are praying in Jesus’ name.
  4. Pray to God the Father, through the Son (i.e., in his name), by the power of the Holy Spirit.
    1. Our primary audience in prayer is God the Father (cf. Mt 6:6; Luke 11:2; John 15:16). Our access to God comes via our relationship with Jesus (cf. 1 John 2:1; Heb 7:25).
    2. We may pray directly to Jesus as well. See John 14:14.
    3. The Holy Spirit helps our infirmities and makes intercession for us “with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom 8:26).

 

Lessons in this Course
Table of Contents
Prayer Lesson 1: The Importance of Prayer
Prayer Lesson 2: Overcoming the Difficulties of Prayer
Prayer Lesson 3: What is Prayer?
Prayer Lesson 4: Our Perspective on Prayer
Praying Lesson 5: Praying in Jesus’ Name
Praying Lesson 6: How Not to Pray
Praying Lesson 7: The Model Prayer Matt 6:9-15
Praying Lesson 8: Pray-ers that Pleases God
Praying Lesson 9: Persistence in Prayer
Praying Lesson 10: Learning from Paul’s Prayers
Praying Lesson 11: Learning from OT Prayers
Praying Lesson 12: Prayer as an Expression of Spirituality
Praying Lesson 13: The Five Different Kinds of Prayer in the Psalms
Praying Lesson 14: Prerequisites to Effective Prayer
Praying Lesson 15: Prayer and Fasting

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