What’s in a Name?

“Ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:14)

Prayer is a powerful tool in the hands of God’s people. Why? Because there is infinite power in the name of Jesus Christ. Not only have we been invited to come boldly to the throne of grace, we have also been assured that anything we ask for in the name of Jesus will be done.

I must make something clear before we go on: To ask in Jesus’ name is to ask for Jesus sake. Our prayers are to be directed at the expansion of Christ’s kingdom, not our own. Make no mistake; when God opened the way for us to come into His presence, every minute of every day, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, He was not giving us a blank check to cash for a life of ease and the advancement of our personal affluence. To ask in Jesus’ name is to ask about the things that matter most to Him.

John 17 recorded our Lord’s High Priestly Prayer, which gives us valuable insight as to what matters most to Jesus. He expressed it in His prayer to His Father: “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” As a sent people, we are to be living lives of other-orientation. Jesus has commissioned us to live in a way that brings glory to God and good to others . . . all others. We are to meet people in their place of need with the hands and feet of Christ.

To pray in Jesus’ name is to pray for the advancement of the Gospel; when we are praying like this, we can be assured our prayers will be answered with a resounding “Yes!” To pray in Jesus’ name is to pray to fulfill His plans and His purposes in this life. To pray in Jesus’ name is to lay aside our personal goals, agendas, dreams, and desires. It is to abandon self as we advance in the direction of our Savior. When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Yet not my will, but thy will be done,” He was providing us with the model for a prayer life that is rooted in Jesus’ name.

Finally, when you are praying in Jesus’ name, you are being reminded to rely on His wisdom, His power, His strength, and His guidance. To pray in Jesus name is to heed the word of warning that James provided to the people of God: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).

I hope you will be encouraged today to take some time to pray, to pray in Jesus’ name, knowing that whatever you ask for in His name, He has promised to do for you.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!


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