Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | October 30, 2013

October 30, 2013 “In Jesus’ Name”

“In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”         (Ephesians 3:12)

Good Morning Faithful friends!

Perhaps you have noticed that I often conclude the short prayers I share with you each day with the words “In Jesus’ Name.”  What does it really mean to conclude our prayers with those words? Do they carry come sort of magical powers that will assure our prayers will be answered?

Thinking that saying “in Jesus’ name” at the end of a prayer results in God’s always granting what is asked for is essentially treating the words “in Jesus’ name” as a magic formula. This is absolutely unbiblical and wrong. Praying in Jesus’ name means praying with His authority and asking God the Father to act upon our prayers because we come in the name of His Son, Jesus. Praying in Jesus’ name means the same thing as praying according to the will of God, In John 5: 14-15, we read, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” Praying in Jesus’ name, then,  is praying for things that will honor and glorify Jesus. Far from being some sort of 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. Genuinely praying in Jesus’ name and for His glory is what is important, not attaching certain words to the end of a prayer. It is not the words in the prayer that matter, but the purpose behind the prayer. Praying for things that are in agreement with God’s will is the essence of praying in Jesus’ name.  I like this quote of David Bryant, who says,

“To pray in ‘Jesus name’ is to pray for something as it relates to His concerns, His cause, and His redemptive work as mediator in the Gap. Even your most personal concerns should be related to the full scope of God’s great plan for all nations. This may change what you ask for, why you ask for it and what kinds of answers you expect, and what you will do when the answers come.” 

While all prayers should be personal, it is important to understand that we do not pray singularly. As Bryant notes, “ even (our) most personal concerns should be related to the full scope of God’s great plan for all nations.” Praying takes us beyond ourselves and instructs us regarding our own part in the great scheme of things. When we were little, we would often pray for things we wanted…a new pony…a favorite toy, or some such thing. Our prayers for God’s blessings for others, in fact, were more in line with praying in Jesus’ name. I remember bedtime prayers for “Mommy and Daddy, Jerry and Janey (my brother and sister)…concluding with “AND EVERYBODY IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD! AMEN! Now that, as general and all-encompassing as it was, is a prayer in accordance with God’s love and grace. Prayer in Jesus’ Name may change what we request, why we request it, and what we expect to do when the answer comes. There is power in the name. Use it wisely and with understanding in your prayers. Let’s pray!

Holy, Merciful Lord; may all our prayers, no matter how broad or how personal, relate to Your great plan for all humanity…that, as Jesus taught us, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. This we pray in Jesus’ Name! Amen!

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