What it means to pray in the name of Jesus
“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24
Praying in the name of Jesus is approaching God on the grounds of Christ’s merit, not yours. God is not under obligation to answer your prayers because you’ve absolutely no credit in heaven but Jesus has, and he has granted all that believe in him the privilege of going before God through his name, and when you do so your prayers are honoured. Remember what Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). So to pray in the name of Jesus is to pray on the ground, not of your goodness or righteousness, that you’re a preacher or a holier than thou, but His, and because he’s in heaven by the Father to receive our prayers/petitions and advocates/intercedes on our behalf before the father.
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:13-15
Is there a way you may know that this prayer is according to God’s will? Yes, through the promises we find in his Word. He will do that he has promised in his word, and also we thank God for the Holy Spirit, “because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:27.
What are you to pray for? Basically anything. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.” (1 Timothy 2:1-3). This reminds me of the dream that I woken up to this morning. In the dream I was at a gas station and the attendant who was attending to my car happened to be Zimbabwean. So we started discussing our country’s political situation and suddenly this song by Shuvai & Jonathan Wutawunashe, ‘Take it to the Lord in prayer’ played in the radio overriding our conversation. Then I woke up while this guy was narrating a story of how the president had changed his position on something that’s bothering the nation. So what are you to pray for? Anything good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” James 5:13-15