“I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” ~John 14:13-14.
“In Jesus’ Name” is not the fine print at the bottom of the rule sheet on how you pray. It’s not the idea that you have to end every prayer with those three words. It’s not a little formula. It’s not a little nod to doctrine. In fact, it’s not a little anything. I think “In Jesus’ Name” is the biggest part of understanding prayer.
My kids know that when I question their behavior, all they have to do is say, “Mom said we could” or “Mom said it’s OK” and I’ll go on my way.
“You’re going to start a movie at 10:45 at night?”
“Mom said we could.”
And I think, yeah, it’s Friday night, she probably did.
“You’re eating and drinking Dr Pepper floats in the living room on the nice furniture on top of the nice carpet? At 10:45 at night?”
“Mom said it’s OK.”
And I think, there’s no way your mom said it was OK. I know your mom. And you do, too. There’s no way. This goes totally against everything I know about your mom. Don’t pull that “Mom said” stuff on me.
Prayers filled with a whole bunch of selfish ‘gimmees’ can hardly be brought to God in the name of Jesus. Asking for wealth or possessions or comfort is totally inconsistent with the nature of God’s Son. I imagine God listening to some of my old prayers and saying, “Don’t pull that ‘Jesus’ said’ stuff on me. I know better.”
Only a relationship with Christ can allow us to pray like Christ and to pray in his name. When we know Jesus, when we follow Jesus, when we’ve given everything we have to Jesus, we’ll more and more start to sound like Jesus. The things we ask for will be God’s will for God’s glory. Our prayers will declare a total surrender of my will and my glory for his. That’s praying in the manner of Jesus. In the way of Jesus. In Jesus’ name.