Why do we end our prayers with “In Jesus name I pray”? How is it that we assume that asking God for something works better if we attach Jesus’ name to it?
Sometimes a parent will ask a child to do something the child doesn’t want to do. The child then gets the idea to tell a sibling to do it instead. The sibling may get the idea that they don’t have to obey the command because the first child has no authority. So the first child gets the idea to pose merely as a messenger for the parent and adds “because our parents said so!”. This may work well for the first child’s desire to avoid a chore, but what if the parent finds out what happened? Surely there will be trouble for the child because they assumed the authority to speak for the parent that they did not have.
When we end a prayer to God (the Father) with the phrase “In Jesus name”, we are saying that what we are asking for comes with Jesus’ stamp of approval. But does it? Since God the Father and God the Son (Jesus) have a pretty close relationship, you can assume that the Father already knows exactly what Jesus has been trying to guide us into wanting and doing. So if we ask God for something without being sure that Jesus wants it for us, we are misappropriating Jesus’ name for our carnal desires. It doesn’t matter how noble and virtuous and loving we think the request is, it only matters that we are following Jesus’ guidance.
Some people think a relationship is about always getting benefits without ever learning about the other person. They are like a child who loves grandma because she always has fun stuff to offer and never has parental advice to be followed. Or they are like a person that attaches themselves to wealthy and influential people only because they always pick up the tab and can get them into exclusive experiences.
But a relationship with Jesus is more than that. As advocate for your salvation His sacrifice makes your relationship with the Father possible, and He knows exactly where your maturity level with Christianity is and what the next steps in that growth require asking God for. A younger believer may mistakenly ask God to fix perceived problems for a loved one without understanding that He already has a plan for the loved one that currently requires breaking his pride so he can see the truth of something with humility. Ignorantly asking God to do something nice from our perspective for him would actually be telling God we don’t like what He is doing! So the proper prayer would be to ask God how to fit in with HIS plan for the loved one. Or the believer may ask God for a new car with modern features to protect the family and help the environment, but God knows he is really thinking about showing off the hi tech prestige gadgets to make his friends jealous.
So remember to know Jesus’ will for you before you ask God for stuff!
John 15:7 IF you abide in me (Jesus), AND my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.