…more than a phrase at the end of a prayer
As a young disciple, it began to dawn on me what Jesus meant when He told us to pray and minister in His name. I realized that we had been given something wonderful -- the great privilege of being able to stand before God in Jesus name, but that He never intended for us to simply tack it on the end of our prayers as we do today. I became more emboldened in this belief when I noticed how Paul’s prayers, which were written in his epistles, never ended with “in Jesus’ name”.
As I listened to people pray, I began to notice how they approached it more like writing a letter, where after they folded it and sealed it in the envelope, they felt compelled to add the stamp, by saying “In the Name of Jesus” or else it would never leave the “Post Office".
The more I studied what Jesus taught, I began to see that He was saying that if we would pray for what He would pray for—in the way He would pray for it—the Father would hear our prayers as if He were asking. It would be the same as if Jesus were doing it. This way, His ministry would continue through us. This is why Jesus could so freely assure us that, if we asked anything in His name, He would do it.
Before you read any further, let me state up front that I am not suggesting that we stop using the phrase “In the name of Jesus” at the end of our prayers, but instead, I am suggesting that we use it to remind ourselves of the kind of heart condition needed—one of having faith in His person, character, and authority, so we can approach God with more confidence when we pray. If we did this, it would help us to believe that we could have all of our prayers answered.
This book also contains a study on how the incarnation and our identification with Christ can serve as a powerful motivators what we do in His name.