“And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)

“In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.” (John 16:23-24).

* * *

We may think praying in Jesus’ name is to add the words “in Jesus’ name, amen” at the end of each prayer. It’s a phrase some of us rarely contemplate or dwell on. But let’s back up for a moment and cover what may seem to be the obvious.

Who is Jesus to you? Lord and master whom you live to serve? Or perhaps friend or buddy who you want as your “blessing heavyweight” in life?

I think many of us—if we’re honest—prefer to have Jesus as a friend and buddy more than lord and master. It’s easy to find ourselves guilty of praying “in Jesus’ name” in the hope of getting what we want rather than for a hunger to have the Father glorified in the Son, as Jesus laid out for us in John 14:13.

This reminds me of one pastor’s account of a fervor of prayer in Jesus’ name he and his wife observed. A certain young lady began attending their church, which was mainly comprised of college students. She was apparently a girl of astonishing, natural beauty who would stand out in any crowd.

Not surprisingly, several of the single guys in the congregation appeared to be mysteriously stricken with a very pure, noble love for this young lady and began hot pursuit of her hand in marriage. Of course, being good Christian lads, they even prayed about it!

Their prayers were basically the same, according to the pastor:

“Dear God, please make her mine. I love her. Oh, please, God, please! I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.”

If these hopefuls were all truly praying in Jesus’ name the way He was talking about in John chapters 14 and 16, they each would have received a “Yes” answer from God and this poor gal would have been stuck with about eight husbands. Eight husbands, I might add, who had great eyesight but not the best spiritual understanding or depth.

* * *

It’s quite obvious these youths were hoping for their buddy Jesus to give them the edge over the other fellows who were, of course, hoping the same thing for themselves. Each one was trying to twist God’s will to match his own personal will—so he could have that beautiful babe for a wife.

* * *

The Bible clearly states there will be people appearing before God in the judgment claiming to have prayed and performed miracles in the name of Jesus; those whose hearts were far from God’s. The vast distance between their hearts and His will be exposed when Jesus Himself declares He never knew them (see Matthew 7:21-23).

How sobering!

This means Christians and non-Christians may not be praying in Jesus’ name even when they think they are.

Praying in Jesus’ name, the way it’s meant in the above passages in John, is a heart cry or affirmation of a believer’s desire to see God the Father glorified through Jesus; they want to pray God’s way instead of their own. In Jesus’ name is meant to reflect our faithful stewardship and service to Jesus Christ, whose name we are representing and whose desires we are anxious to carry out.

This, of course, brings us to an important question:

Am I Praying Biblically?

Speaking for myself, I confess I often pray in the character of ME rather than in the character of God the Son. Christ was perfect (unselfish), making it difficult to effectively pattern myself and my prayer life after Him. He had eternal perspective and I most often have one which is temporal. Even when I pray for others, it is often self-motivated and short-sighted.

Christ’s purpose for His every prayer and action, in contrast, was aimed at one thing: that His Father would receive glory.

How about you? Are you praying biblically?

If you’d like to have an intimate, meaningful prayer life, consider studying through the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—and writing down your observations on the prayers of Christ.

Compare the way you pray and the way the Lord Jesus prayed.

* * *

If your driving desire is to have God the Father glorified, your prayers will reflect that. When such is the case, you are praying in the character of Jesus Christ, praying in His name. It’s only during those times we are truly praying biblically.

Every prayer and request we offer up in the character of Jesus—that is, in His name—will be honored by God the Father.

This provides the trusting believer with thrilling comfort when receiving a “No” or “Wait” answer from God—because He is giving a “Yes” answer to our greater prayer to do what most honors Him.

This, my friend, showers us with peace when we wouldn’t normally find it. It beats back the scorching heat of trials and testing, gifting us with rock solid hope… no matter the landscape or situation we face.

Thy kingdom come;

Thy will be done;

On earth (including in my heart), just as it is in heaven.

* * *

When prayer becomes our avenue for dying to self and pouring ourselves out before God for His use and glory, we know Jesus intimately and our joy is made full. The Greek word for “full” in John 16:24 is peplērōmenē, which means to fill, fulfill, or complete.

The layers of “self” which produce a false, suffocated joy are peeled away.

And our joy is made full.



People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.


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