In Jesus’ Name!
To pray ‘in the name of Jesus’ is not a formula for power, but it is acting under His authority.
‘Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”’ (Acts 3:6)
Praying or acting ‘in the name of Jesus’ means I am not acting on my own but representing the interests of Jesus. When I lived in Britain, letters from the tax man arrived with the heading, ‘On Her Majesty’s Service.’ They asked for money on the authority of ‘Her Majesty,’ and more particularly, her government. And I always paid up! If I received a letter from a stranger demanding money, I wouldn’t normally send any because they had no authority to demand it. If an individual decided to print on the top of a demand for money ‘On Her Majesty’s Service’ having observed that people responded differently to that, they would rightly be accused of fraud and of taking Her Majesty’s name in vain.
To pray for our own interests ‘in the name of Jesus’ is to violate the third command, ‘You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name’ (Exodus 20:7). To pray ‘in His name’ is to pray under His authority, according to His Will, for the fulfillment of His agenda. If we are not sure of His Will or agenda, we may still pray in His name if our prayer is ‘your will be done,’ which gives Him complete right of veto over the specifics of our praying.
How should praying in the name of Jesus affect how we pray, and what we pray for?
Bible in one year: Psalm 36 | Numbers 2