Last November I published “Why Do We Pray In Jesus’ Name?” In it I wrote that praying in Jesus’ name literally means praying with in the authority He has given us. He has given us the authority to ask the Father to act on our prayers because we come in His name.
Think of it this way. Jesus’ name is a key, and if you have the key I doesn’t matter if the key belongs to you or not as long as you have it you can open the lock. The power belongs to Jesus but he has given you His key.
Just as an Ambassador has the authority to speak for the leader of a nation we can speak with the authority of Jesus. It is just as if Jesus Himself was talking.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (NLT)20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Praying in Jesus’ name is praying for things that will honor and glorify Him. Praying in Jesus' name means the same thing as praying according to the will of God,
1 John 5:14-15 (NLT)14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
What’s so special about Jesus’ name? Honestly, for a long time, I had no idea. I’d hear everybody end prayers with, “In Jesus’ name. Amen.” I thought maybe it was a signal that the prayer was about to end, like a spiritual sign-off — “10-4, good buddy” — or the way the great 20th Century news anchor Walter Cronkite would end all his broadcasts by saying, “And that’s the way it is.”
I ended that post with this;
“Here’s the point: I don’t have any right to get answered prayers from God. I owe him a lot, but he doesn’t owe me anything. But when I come and ask God for requests, I don’t ask on my own merit. I come on the merit of Christ. I just say, “Father, I’m coming to you because your Son said so. I’m coming because of what Jesus Christ has already done for me on the cross. He’s promised that I can ask in his name, so that’s what I’m doing right now.””
Max Lucado, in his book Before Amen, writes about the power of praying in Jesus’ name. Here are excerpts from that book.
The Power of Praying In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Excerpts from Before Amen by Max Lucado
Jesus has unimpeachable authority.
He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. — Hebrews 1:3
God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name. — Philippians 2:9
The Roman government tried to intimidate Him. False religion tried to silence Him. The devil tried to kill Him. All failed. Even “death was no match for Him” (Acts 2:24 MSG).
Jesus “disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross” (Colossians 2:15 NLT). He was not kidding when He declared,
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. — Matthew 28:18
Jesus is the command center of the galaxies.
Two sparrows cost only a penny, but not even one of them can die without your Father’s knowing it. — Matthew 10:29 NCV
He occupies the Oval Office. He called a coin out of the mouth of a fish. He stopped the waves with a word. He spoke, and a tree withered. He spoke again, and a basket became a banquet. Economy. Meteorology. Botany. Food supply.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father. — Matthew 11:27
That includes Satan. The devil was soundly defeated by Christ on the cross. Jesus outranks him in every situation. He must obey Jesus, and he knows it.
Prayers offered in the name of Jesus have “divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4 NIV). Demolish! Not damage or hamper but demolish. Prayer falls on strongholds like lit matches on a grass hut.
The devil fears prayer. Imagine this scene. He sat in the back of the room during a strategy session. A dozen demons had gathered to hear a report on the life of a particularly stalwart saint.
“He won’t stumble,” groused the imp responsible for his demise. “No matter what I do, he won’t turn his back on God.”
The council began to offer suggestions.
“Take his purity,” one said.
“I tried,” replied the fiend, “but he is too moral.” “Take his health,” urged another.
“I did, but he refused to grumble or complain.” “Take his belongings.”
“Are you kidding? I’ve stripped the man of every penny and possession. Yet he still rejoices.”
For a few moments no one spoke. Finally, from the back of the room, came the low, measured voice of Satan himself. The entire council turned as the fallen angel rose to his feet. His pale face was all but hidden by the hood. A long cape covered his body. He raised his bony hand and made his point. “It’s not enough to take his purity. It’s not enough to take his health. It’s not enough to take his belongings. You must take what matters most.” “What is that?” asked the subordinate.
“You must take his prayer.”
Prayer slaps handcuffs on Satan. Prayer takes problems out of the domain of the devil and into the presence of God. Prayer confesses, “God can handle IT. Since He can, I have hope!”
When we pray in the name of Jesus, we come to God on the basis of Jesus’ accomplishment.
Since we have a great high priest [Jesus] over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. — Hebrews 10:21–22
As our high priest, Jesus offers our prayers to God. His prayers are always heard.
Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. — John 16:23
There are those who say, “Prayer changes things because it changes us.” I agree but only in part. Prayer changes things because prayer appeals to the top power in the universe. Prayer is not a magical formula or a mystical chant. It is the yes to God’s invitation to invoke His name.
Mark it down: IT won’t have the last word. Jesus will.
God raised [Christ] from death and set Him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from His rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. — Ephesians 1:20–22 MSG
The phrase “In Jesus’ name” is not an empty motto or talisman. It is a declaration of truth: My cancer is not in charge; Jesus is. The economy is not in charge; Jesus is. The grumpy neighbor doesn’t run the world; Jesus, You do! You, Jesus, are the Head Coach, CEO, President, King, Supreme Ruler, Absolute Monarch, High and Holy Baron, Czar, Overlord, and Rajah of all history.
Just speak the word, Jesus . . .
Pray! Since God works, prayer works.
Since God is good, prayer is good.
Since you matter to God, your prayers matter in heaven. You’re never without hope, because you’re never without prayer. And on the occasions you can’t find the words to say, pull these out of your pocket:
You are good.
I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Excerpted with permission from Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado, copyright Thomas Nelson.