Pray like it matters: “In His name”
For many of us prayer feels like:
-a flip of a coin (maybe God answers and maybe he doesn’t)
-a good luck charm (when we need good luck on our side)
-a list of requests and demands (”help me, bless me, give me”)
We often settle into a mindset of prayer that is:
““And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:5-8
If God knows what I need already, why am I praying??
Because prayer is ultimately about knowing the heart of God and growing in relationship with Him.
“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
John 14:13-14 NIV
Twice Jesus reminds us to ask “in His name”
What is the significance of praying “in His name”?
- In HIS authority
We have no standing before God and no credibility on our own.
We don’t pray to God based on our merit, but based on the authority of what Jesus has done.
- As HIS representative
As Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5) we don’t represent ourselves, but rather we represent Christ.
As we pray in Jesus’ name, we pray as He would.
- For HIS glory
Ultimately we pray for the things that will lift up the name of Jesus and give God glory.
The power in our prayer is ultimately surrendering our will to the will of God.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalms 37:4 NIV
““This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’”
Matthew 6:9-13 NIV
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.””
Matthew 26:39 NIV
The power of prayer is not what God does for me, but rather what He does in me.