In March of this year I published the blog post If I Don’t Pray In Jesus Name Will God Still Hear And Answer My Prayer?. In that post I said asked if it is absolutely essential we must say something like “in the name of Jesus” in order for God hear and answer prayer how do we explain all the answered prayer in the Old Testament?
1 Kings 17:19-23 (NLT)19 But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.” And he took the child’s body from her arms, carried him up the stairs to the room where he was staying, and laid the body on his bed.20 Then Elijah cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, why have you brought tragedy to this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die?”21 And he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, please let this child’s life return to him.”22 The LORD heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived!23 Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “Look!” he said. “Your son is alive!” (No in Jesus’ name).
Jesus never taught his disciples to say “in Jesus’ name” or “in My name” at the end of their prayers.
Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV)9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.11 Give us this day our daily bread.12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (No in My name)
None of the prayers in the New Testament end “in Jesus name” or “in the name of Jesus”.
Acts 7:59-60 (NLT) As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”60 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.
Philippians 1:9-11 (NLT)9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
What does it mean to pray in Jesus' name?
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.
I ended the post with these thoughts; Some think that saying “in Jesus’ name” at the end of a prayer results in God’s always granting what is asked for. That’s like treating the words “in Jesus’ name” as a magic formula. Those words are
not a magic formula. If what we ask for or say in prayer is not for God’s glory and according to His will, saying “in Jesus’ name” is meaningless. The words “in the name of Jesus” are more than just a signal that the prayer is over. To pray in Jesus’ name means to ask in His merit not ours.
If saying “in Jesus’ name” at the end of our prayers reminds us that we are praying with the authority that He gave us, and in the knowledge that it is in His righteous we approach God, then this is a great practice. If saying “in Jesus’ name” helps us seek God’s will when we pray, then we should always say it. But, if we think that saying “in Jesus’ name” is what it really means to pray in His name, then we are missing the point.
Here’s with Rick Warren says about why we pray in Jesus’ name.
Why Do We Pray in Jesus’ Name?
Daily Hope with Rick Warren -
November 17, 2017
“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:13-14 NIV).
The Bible says,“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:13-14 NIV). God wants to answer your prayers, but he also wants you to ask in Jesus’ name.
What is 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.”
Some people think “in Jesus’ name” is kind of a mystical password that gets you access to God: “Here are all my requests. By the way — codeword: ‘In Jesus’ name.’”
What in the world does it mean to pray “in Jesus’ name”?
I heard a story once that illustrates it well. A pastor friend took his young son and about 14 of his son’s friends to a birthday party at the carnival, where he bought a roll of tickets. He stood at the entrance of every ride, and as the kids came by — his son and the 14 friends — he gave each of them a ticket. At some point during the day, he looked up and realized there was a little boy that he’d never seen in his life with his hand out, asking for a ticket. He asked him, “Are you with my son’s party?” No. “Why should I give you a ticket?” The young boy turned and pointed to the man’s son and said, “Your son said you’d give me one.” So, the man gave him one.
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.”
I don’t think it’s necessary to say “in Jesus’ name” at the end of every prayer if you’ve got the right attitude, but I think it’s a good idea. Why? Because it reminds you why you have the right to pray — because Jesus is your mediator and has made a way for God to hear and answer your prayers.