Many Christians begin their prayers by addressing God the Father and conclude by ending with in Jesus’ name. This phrase “in Jesus’ name” isn’t some spiritual magical phrase like abracadabra or hocus pocus. And it doesn’t mean we will get everything we want just because we tack that phrase onto the end of our prayers. Further, it is not a signal to God that you are just about done praying. Jesus says that whatever you ask for in his name will be given to you (John 14:13-14). We usually learn this by the example of those around us as they pray out loud.
In Matthew 6:9, Jesus teaches us in the sermon on the mount to pray through the Lord’s prayer, our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be your name. I am not aware of anywhere in the Bible that Jesus prays to the Holy Spirit. That being said, the Father , the Son and the Spirit all together make up God. So, you could pray to any or all of them.
By praying in Jesus’ name it is saying that we are praying in the way Jesus would pray if he was praying for what we are praying for. When you say, “In Jesus’ name,” you are saying, “I am asking for these things according to Jesus’ will, for his glory, and in his power.” As if Jesus Himself was praying our prayers.
“And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). In every activity, not just the spiritual ones, we should be able to say, “I am doing this in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
We may look like we’re doing things for and to others, but we’re actually doing things for and to him. We live for an audience of one. We serve the Lord Jesus Christ in every second of every day. Every single thing we do, every step we take, every word we utter should be thought of first and foremost as an offering to Jesus.
I have to say that I don’t always pray the way that Jesus would pray. You can add this caveat to your prayers of “if it is your will.” In older movies preachers often said, “if the Lord wills it” or “Lord willing”. This way, you can tell God what is heavy on your heart and weighs on your mind, but you are telling Him that you trust Him to make the best decision since you yourself do not know what is best.
Praying “in Jesus’ name” is less about including the phrase at the end of your prayer, and more about positioning your heart properly when you pray. Praying in Jesus’ name means that you are conscious of two primary truths as you bring your requests to God; acknowledgment of His intercession and submission to His will.
So, let’s stop praying with magical words by which we try to coerce God and manipulate Him to do what we want. Instead, become more aligned with Jesus’ will and pray for what and how He would want us to pray for. You can do it. I’ll be working on it too.