Prayer in the name of Jesus – what it is and what it is not

There is much to say about prayer in the name of Jesus. You might have heard teaching on that God has exalted the name of Jesus above every other name, that there is authority in the name of Jesus, that when the name of Jesus is spoken in faith by a believer, demons tremble, miracles happen and great spiritual power is released. All this is correct and good, but it does not tell us what prayer in the name of Jesus really is.

Here comes an illustration of what prayer in the name of Jesus is not: ”Father you see how I have served You for all these years, how I have followed You faithfully, how I have gone to church, fasted and prayed, and because of that I ask You to give me what I ask for, in Jesus name. Amen”.

This was not an example of prayer in the name of Jesus. This was prayer in the name of myself ending with a ”in the name of Jesus” as a slogan to twist God’s arm to answer my prayer.

Prayer in the name of Jesus is not a spiritual formula, or slogan, that we use to end our prayers with. Before Jesus died on the cross He talked to the disciples about the new time and era that would come after His death and resurrection. Looking forward, toward the time that was about to come, the time after the cross, He said:

23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:23-24)

Jesus was basically saying: In the day and time that comes after the cross, you will have the right to ask for anything in My name, and what you ask for in My name will be given to you by My Father. What happened at the cross that would be the foundation for our right and privilege to pray in the name of Jesus?

Jesus, who knew no sin was made to be sin, so that we, who were sinners, might become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21). He took our past, present and future sins and put them away (Hebr. 9:26). He reconciled the world to Himself (2 Cor. 5:18). He made peace between heaven and earth (Col. 1:20). He nailed the law to the cross and abolished it so that the devil would lose his ammunition to accuse us before God (Eph. 2:14-16), and therefore there is  today “no condemnation for those who are in Christ” (Rm. 8:1).

Praying in the name of Jesus is praying to God based on who Jesus is and what He has done for us. When praying in the name of Jesus we say to God: “Not because of who I am in myself, or what I have done, but because of who Jesus is and what He has done.”

A famous preacher in America was holding a healing meeting. Just as he was about to start praying for the sick, a thought came to him that said “you haven’t fasted today”. For a while he started to question whether God’s healing power would be released in the meeting since he had enjoyed a good breakfast and lunch that same day. But then he realized this thought was planted by the devil and said: “I don’t pray for the sick in my own name (based on my own performance). I pray for people in the name of Jesus (based on Jesus’ performance), so in Jesus’ name, be healed!” He saw many people wonderfully healed in that meeting.

Praying in the name of Jesus is to come before God on the basis on Jesus’ own righteousness – not our own. The good thing about Jesus’ righteousness is that it is perfect – there is no fault in it, and therefore there is no reason for God not to answer our prayer. This in a nutshell explains why prayer in the name of Jesus is so powerful!

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