Christian Life

Are We Really Asking In His Name?

How many times have you heard a prayer ended with “and we ask all these things in your name”? 

Personally, I’ve heard it too many times to count. Now, there’s nothing wrong with ending a prayer this way, but just because we do end it this way doesn’t guarantee that we are actually asking on His behalf. Would Jesus Christ Himself be asking for what we are asking for?

Here’s the deal: when Jesus told His disciples that He would do for them whatever they ask for in His name, He wasn’t meaning that they could ask for anything and then just tag it with “in Jesus’ name”. He meant that whatever they ask for ON HIS BEHALF He would do. He meant that whatever they ask for THAT IS FOR HIS PURPOSE He would do. He meant that whatever they asked for that was IN HIS WILL He would do. They didn’t need to say “in Jesus’ name” at the end of their prayer for Jesus to know whether or not they were actually praying on His behalf.

Think about this: if the President of the United States sent me as an ambassador to the President of China, I would be received because I was sent by the President of the United States. But if I showed up in China of my own accord and demanded to meet with the President, I would be laughed out of the building or worse, arrested. If Barack Obama did send me, he would be sure to instruct me on what I was to accomplish while there and what his purpose and needs were. He would send me as a representative of himself. However, if when I got there I started making my own plans and asking Xi Jinping for personal favors, I would no longer be operating on behalf of Barack Obama. I would no longer have the authority of the President of the United States backing me. I would now be operating in my own name.

When we pray, our prayers are heard simply because we are in Christ. The Father receives us and hears us because we have been made one with the Son, and the Father always receives and listens to the Son. We never go to the Father on our own accord. We go in the Son. The door of fellowship with God is opened to us because of the Son, yet when we enter in, how much of what we say and ask for is in His name? How much is in our own?

Here’s an opportunity: spend some time with the Lord in these scriptures, and turn the phrase “in my name” into “on my behalf” and see if anything new stands out. (Matthew 18:5, 20) (Mark 9:37, 39; 16:17) (Luke 9:48) (John 14:13-14, 26; 15:16; 16:23-27)

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16 Comment

  1. Reply
    Nick
    February 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Excellent post, and very encouraging. I believe this revelation produces the kind of faith that God is seeking after… not the so-called “faith” that treats him like a genie or a magician.

    Oh, and I love the analogy with President Obama, btw. 🙂

    1. Reply
      Bridget Babione
      March 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks, Nick! And congrats on expecting a son!!

  2. Reply
    Donna
    February 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    This is great you guys and really needs to be understood. And it’s so great to get a post from you – we’ve missed you! 🙂

    1. Reply
      Bridget Babione
      March 4, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks, Donna! This season is much busier than last and we are finally getting our footing. Hopefully, we’ll be around the blog more often soon. 🙂

  3. Reply
    John
    February 26, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Right on !!!!!!! And the food is already blessed too! Right on Bridget……..

    1. Reply
      Bridget Babione
      March 5, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Yes it is, John! Thanks!

  4. Reply
    Kennth Dawson
    February 26, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    I am so glad for this post…I am sick of hearing christians using that phrase..in Jesus name.

    1. Reply
      Bridget Babione
      March 4, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      I don’t like how flippantly it’s used either, Kenneth.

  5. Reply
    Amanda Iosa
    February 26, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    I like that, to think of those prayers as being on His behalf. Good analogy with the diplomatic scenario too. Thinking of prayer in general, I had a coworker “correct” me the other day when I spoke about asking God for something. She sternly told me “You’re supposed to ask for God’s will, not what you want.” (I was only asking, not issuing demands!) I guess the opposite of asking for anything and everything “in Jesus’ name” and expecting Him to do it is never asking for anything at all, except “His will.”
    Amanda Iosa recently posted…Warmth in Winter: A PoemMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Bridget Babione
      March 4, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      Hey, sister! You’re right. We definitely don’t want to fall off the horse on the other side and never ask for anything except His will. Either way misses the glorious experiencing of knowing the Lord of all creation and being able to participate with Him in what He is after.

  6. Reply
    Steve
    February 27, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Amanda:

    Jesus asked the Father that He would not have to drink the cup, but then Jesus immediately followed it with not my will but yours. There is nothing wrong with asking God for what we want as long as we realize it is God’s will that matters and we need to get in line with His will. I learned this really well when my wife passed away almost three years ago at the age of 41. I had others still praying for her to be healed when it was evident that God was calling her to Him. We had a big mission trip to the Philippines planned too. I just told God, this is what I want, but whatever your plan is is the best for me, for my wife, and for my son. And, Romans 8:28 proved very helpful at this time. That was the first verse the Spirit ever made real to me. It was our favorite verse and is on my wife’s tombstone.

    Sorry for rambling.

    1. Reply
      Amanda Iosa
      March 9, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      Hi Steve,

      Sorry, I just saw your response today. I’m sad to hear of your wife’s passing. That must have been indescribably hard, and I can see where that would have challenged human wills in the face of God’s desire. I definitely agree with you. I ask the Lord for things all the time, but hold my desires loosely. I just know many legalistic individuals who have said not to ask Him for what we want, only “His will” as a blanket statement. To me that can be a symptom of running on the hamster wheel of religious performance. Thank you for your thoughts…I appreciate your “rambling!”

  7. Reply
    rod
    February 28, 2015 at 5:47 am

    Thanks for posting this. Short, simple and profound.

    I also recently read an TA Sparcks article “For the Sake of HIS Name” found @ http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/001111.html

    It fits hand and glve with your post.

    1. Reply
      Bridget Babione
      March 4, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Hi, Rod. Thanks for the TAS article. It was great!

  8. Reply
    On Breathing (pt. 2) – 3rd Race
    May 12, 2015 at 6:06 am

    […] When someone asks for prayer, or there is something personal I need to pray for, I first spend time “breathing in”. I sit with the Lord waiting for Him to reveal His desire in the situation. I sit with the Lord waiting for Him to give me His words over the situation. Then, because I have inhaled, I can exhale. I pray His desires back to Him. I speak His words over the situation or person. Sometimes I don’t know what He wants right away, so I wait. If the situation is time sensitive, and I don’t feel like the Lord is giving me anything, then I do one of two things: I either don’t pray about the situation, I know – *GASP*, or I pray for what I think is best, always asking that the Lord’s will be done no matter what. I have found that my experience of answered prayer has increased significantly since learning to “breathe in”. But truly, why wouldn’t it since He tells us that whatever we ask for in His name He will do? […]

  9. […] intellectually) Lord of our life, then everything else falls into its rightful place. We’ll pray in His name. We’ll heal in His name. We’ll build up others in His name. We’ll humble […]

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