IN THE NAME OF JESUS
As a young disciple, it began to dawn on me what Jesus meant when He told us to pray and minister “in His name.” I realized that we had been given something wonderful—the great privilege of being able to stand before God “in Jesus’ name.” I also became aware that He never intended for us to simply tack the phrase on the end of our prayers as we do today. I became more emboldened in this belief when I noticed how Paul’s prayers, which were written in his epistles, never ended with the phrase at all.
As I listened to people pray, I began to notice how they seemed to tag on “in Jesus’ name” at the end of their prayers. It reminded me of how we write letters, fold them and put them in an addressed envelope, and then place a stamp on it before mailing it. “In Jesus’ name” seemed to act like a stamp. If their prayers didn’t have the “stamp,” then Jesus didn’t receive or act upon their prayers.
The more I studied what Jesus taught, I began to understand He was saying that, if we would pray for what He would pray for—in the way He would pray for it—the Father would hear our prayers as if He were asking. It would be the same as if Jesus were doing it. This way, His ministry would continue through us. This is why Jesus could so freely assure us that, if we askedanythingin His name, He would do it.
Before you read any further, let me state upfront that I am not suggesting we stop using the phrase, “In the name of Jesus,” at the end of our prayers, but instead I am suggesting that we use it to remind ourselves of the kind of heart condition needed—one of having faith in His person, character, and authority—so we can approach God with more confidence when we pray. If we do this, it will help us to believe that we can have all of our prayers answered.
This book also contains a study on how the incarnation and our identification with Christ can serve as powerful motivators for what we do in His name.
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