The Power of Praying in God's Name
Over and over again in Scripture we read, "In my name," "In Jesus' name," or "In his name." The devils were powerless because of his name (Luke 10:17). The demons were cast out in his name (Mark 16:17-18). Healing occurred in his name (Acts 3:6, 3:16, 4:10). Salvation comes in his name (Acts 4:12, Rom. 10:13). We are to baptize in his name (Matt. 28:19). We are justified in his name (1 Cor. 6:11). Everything we do and say is done in his name (Col. 3:17). But, it is praying in Jesus' name that I want to bring to the forefront. Jesus has invited, urged, and commanded us to pray in his name and has promised incredible results.
John 14:13-14 and John 16:23-24 are some of the most powerful verses in all of scripture related to prayer. In fact, when most of us pray we conclude with the phrase, "in Jesus' name."
But what does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus? When we pray in Jesus' name
1. We are admitting the bankruptcy of our own name.
When I pray in Jesus' name I come boldly before God because of the power of his name. It would be like a bride coming from abject poverty to marry a wealthy husband. At that point the woman takes the name of her husband and all that entails. She no longer acts in her name, but in his.
2. We identify with the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus has literally given us his name. When I use that name, I am confessing that he is mine and that I am his. It is like going to the bank of heaven, knowing I have nothing deposited. If I go in my name I will get absolutely nothing. But Jesus Christ has unlimited funds in heaven's bank, and he has granted me the privilege of going to the bank with his name on my checks.
3. We pray in his authority.
We are like the child who picked up a policeman's hat, wandered out onto a busy intersection and began to direct traffic. The people in the cars followed the child's direction because they respected his position of authority. To pray in his name is to ask by his authority; and to ask by his authority is to ask in accordance to his will as revealed in his word.
4. We submit to his will.
Jesus' authority rested with his submission to the Father, so our authority rests with our submission to him. To ask in his name is to ask according to his nature, and his nature is one of submission. This, by the way, is why prayers that ask for things contrary to the Word of God will never be answered.
5. We are representing him and his interests here on earth.
It is much the same as the legal arrangement known as the power of attorney. In such matters one person may represent another in his absence. They act in their behalf. Jesus has given every believer unlimited and general power of attorney in all matters and with the right to use his name in every situation.
6. We pray expectantly.
When we pray in Jesus' name, we may expect the answer in accord with the value of his name. So we can pray with great and excited expectation.