What does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus?
Praying in the name of Jesus is not just a magical incantation that is tacked on to the end of prayers. People end their prayers with "in the name of Jesus" without understanding all that it entails. The word "in" is a preposition of position and it carries with it a doctrinal truth that all believers need to know. The book of Ephesians could be called the "position book" and the word "in" brings our position into focus. This doctrinal truth is called our "ascension privilege" and it is our position in Jesus Christ. Therefore, our standing before God rests in Jesus Christ and praying in the name of Jesus is the way our prayers are heard.
In the name of Jesus, is an acknowledgment of the believer's position in Jesus Christ and an understanding that our prayers are heard as we approach the throne of grace. It is in obedience to the command of Jesus, for we cannot pray in our own standing but we pray in His. “God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Praying in Jesus' name means praying according to God’s will, "And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for" (1 John 5:14-15). Praying in Jesus’ name is praying for things that will honor and glorify Jesus.
“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. Yes, ask anything in my name, and I will do it!” (John 14:13-14).
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony” (John 17:20).
“For ‘Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:13).
“We are writing to the church of God in Corinth, you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did all Christians everywhere--whoever calls upon the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and theirs” (1 Corinthians 1:2).
“And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
“And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17).
“Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14).
“I am writing to you, my dear children, because your sins have been forgiven because of Jesus” (1 John 2:12).
“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).
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