Jesus Christ says in the Gospel According to John;
"In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." (John 16:23-24)
Christ also commanded the Nephites to pray in his name: “Therfore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name “ (3 Nephi 18:13)
But what does it mean to ask in Jesus s name? When we end our prayers with: “In the name of Jesus Christ” is it then some kind of secret password? A way to ensure that what we pray for doesn´t go in one ear and out the other of our Heavenly Father?
A while ago I was saying grace beforing eating with a ward-member. I didn´t end my prayer with “in the name of Jesus” and this made my friend a little bit frustrated and he told me that all paryers should be in the name of Our Savior.
For me praying in Jesu´s name is about two things:
We can´t pray for anything. Yeah. I think Joplis song “Mercedes Benz” is a great song but I wouldn´t ask Our Lord to give me a car (or maybe, I say maybe if I needed a car to do His work but right now I can´t see that coming up often enough to justify me praying about it). If we are to pray in Jesus’ name, then this means our prayers should reflect Jesus’ own values and purposes. Sure my own agenda can intrude into my prayers fairly easily but I hope and I want my prayers to be more and more consistent with Our Saviors will.
If we think that saying “in Jesus’ name” is what it means to pray in his name, then we are missing this point. Then we use the words just like a secret password that ensures Our Lord will hear us.
Jesus also uses the phrase “in my name” in other places;
“And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.” (Matt 18:5)
That has nothing to do about saying the words. It is more about doing something under His authority, or as His representative.
Praying in Jesus name is a way to tell Our Heavenly Father that we are a part of His family. We come before God, not in our own merit, but in the merit of Jesus and by his permission.
I remember when I was young and my grandad used to own a store. It didn´t matter who was at the cashier; if I wanted to I could go into the store and buy candy on my grandfathers account. Once a friend of mine tried the same. He asked for some candy and said my grandads name. The answer he got was that he couldn´t get anything cause he wasn´t a part of the family
When I am asking God for candy in the name of Jesus Christ I do it as a part of the family and God will listen cause I am coming to him not in my own merit, but in the merit of Jesus and as a part of the family. The family I joined when I was baptized.
In opposite of my number one example this more clearly says me that I shold “sign my prayers” by saying the words “in the name of Jesus” cause signing just with my own name doesn´t show that I am a part of the family.
However. The most important thing for me is to pray in the name of Jesus Christ even the times I do not say the words out loud. That is what I am trying to do.
Earlier posts about prayers: