Prayer is one of the Christian acts that Jesus taught His disciples. Many preachers and teachers have spoken vastly about the topic of prayer because of its importance in the life of a Christian. Prayerlessness is what makes a Christian totally dry and void of the presence of God.
Dryness makes us vulnerable to a lot of temptations from the enemy hence prayer is a very important part of our Christian lives. [Read THE FORCE OF PRAYER AND DRYNESS]
Jesus himself taught his disciples how to pray in Matthew 6:5-15. He said, “And when you pray…” The use of “when” makes it an activity that must be continuously undertaken. Prayer is the force that keeps God in contact with us always.
Many Christians pray for breakthroughs, miracles and opportunities in life but do not receive what they have asked for. Jesus says in John 14:13 that whatever we ask in His name, He will do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. This reveals that we need to pray in His name to be able to receive what we have asked for. It is through Jesus that we gain access to the Father. We do not have any authority or power of our own. It is through the finished works of the cross of Christ that we are able to stand before God. Without Christ, we are nothing. To receive from the Father, we need to pray in Jesus’ name.
Many have interpreted this as ending your prayer with the phrase “in Jesus’ name”. Praying in Jesus’ name is not the same as saying “in Jesus’ name”. Ending our prayers with this phrase has become a culture in the Christian religion. It has become a superstitious statement. We need to understand what it means to pray in the name of Jesus. Apostle Paul made a lot of prayers in his writings to the churches and he ended most of them without saying “in Jesus’ name”. For instance, in Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul prayed that the people might receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation. He didn’t end the prayer with “in Jesus’ name”. There are many prayers in the New Testament that do not end with “in Jesus’ name”. This shows that praying in Jesus’ name is not the same as ending your prayer with “in Jesus’ name”. It is not wrong to end with the popular Christian phrase but it doesn’t guarantee that one has prayed in the name of Jesus.
To pray in the name of Jesus is to, firstly, pray in the authority of Jesus. This means to approach the Father through the finished works of Christ. We must put ourselves aside and ask the Father in the authority of Christ. We do not possess any power or authority of our own. We cannot defeat the works of the enemy on our own. We need to approach the Father through the finished works of Christ. Christ has made us clean from the sin of the world and now able to please the Father in our service to Him. Hence, we need to put ourselves aside and ask the Father in the stead Christ. Many go before God in their own authority. They tell God about their deeds, works and what they have suffered for Him. They pray like the Pharisees who boast of what they have sacrificed for God. (Luke 18:11) Those prayers do not enable us to receive the things we have asked of God.
Also, to pray in the name of Jesus is to pray according to the command of Jesus. The Bible says we should love our enemies and pray for them who spitefully use us and persecute us. (Luke 6:27,28,32-36) The Bible also says that we should not return evil for evil. This reveals that our prayers should not be against the enemy but should be for the benefit of our enemies. When we do not pray according to the command of Jesus, we do not pray in the name of Jesus. Praying for the downfall of our enemies is not concurrent with the commands of Jesus Christ.
For our prayers to yield results and bring us triumph over this world, we need to pray in the name of Jesus well by putting ourselves aside, imploring God through the finished works of Christ and praying according to His will for our lives and others.
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By Samuel Entsua ©2014-2015 Christ for Humanity Outreach
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