What does it mean to pray in Jesus' name?

Have you ever heard someone end a prayer with "in Jesus' name, amen"? Have you ever wondered what it means or where that phrase even came from?

While Jesus was sitting at His last meal with His disciples, He gave them some final words of wisdom. One of the things He told them was about praying to God the Father. "And 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).

Now, that doesn't mean that you can ask for anything you want, tack on "in Jesus' name", and make it a surefire guarantee that you'll get it. Nope. No magic words here.

Basically, saying "in Jesus' name" at the end of a prayer means we are asking for something that we think Jesus would want too. We are saying, "God, this is something that I believe Jesus desires for my life too." We're also saying that what we're asking for is going to bring honor and glory to Jesus and His name.

If what we're asking for doesn't bring honor and glory to Jesus, then tacking on that phrase is completely pointless and has no meaning at all.

Take a look at 1 John 5:14-15, where John talks about prayer: "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him."

Did you notice the key words there? If we ask for anything according to His will. As followers of Christ, we need to check our motivations when we ask for things in prayer. Do you really want to glorify God through your request to Him? Does your prayer reflect an attitude of really desiring to do God's will—or does it reveal a selfish heart?

Remember, there are no magic words when it comes to prayer. God knows what's going on in your heart already, and He sees what you genuinely believe and desire. Praying "in Jesus' name" is simply your personal confirmation to Him that you truly want to follow God's will, and that you believe this is what He would want too.



ALSO SEE: What's the right way to pray?





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Catiana Nak Kheiyn is the webmaster and editor of 412teens.org and regularly teaches local young writers at her workshops. She also contributes at GotQuestions.org, Blogos.org, and GQkidz.org. When Catiana is not writing or hanging out with teens, she loves spending time with her family—a mountain man, an adorable little girl and boy, three socially awkward cats, and a curly-tailed dog.