Praying in Jesus’ Name
Written by Carol Kobulnicky
“…no one comes to the Father except through me.” – Jesus (John 14:6)
“Jesus Christ has brought every need, every joy, every gratitude, every hope of men before God. He accompanies us, and brings us into the presence of God.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Last fall, our church small group (aka Journey Group) studied the book, Love to Pray: A 40-day Devotional for Deepening Your Prayer Life by Alvin Vandergriend. This summer, our Fellowship of Christian Graduate Students here at the U of Wyoming studied it as well. In addition to the book, there is a DVD featuring high quality speakers who know much more about prayer than I do. We watched those too. I will read the book again, as I know I will continue to learn more. It’s so rich with God’s truth about prayer and it’s filled with prayer prompts and actions to take in response to these truths.
What does it mean that we pray in Jesus’ name? Jesus tells us that it is only through Him that we can approach God, the Father. In the Book of Hebrews, we are instructed to “approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) The only reason we can confidently enter the throne room of the King is because of Jesus and what He’s done for us.
The author of Love to Pray lays it out so clearly in three points:
- As believers, we come to the Father not because of our own accomplishments, but on the basis of Christ’s merit. He paid the price for our sins by living a perfect life and laying down His life as a perfect sacrifice. When we pray to the Father, we are identifying with Jesus.
- We’re also “authorized to be Christ’s representatives”—given permission to act in His place.
- And last, we come to the throne “in accord with Christ’s will.” With the mind of Christ in us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to ask what He would.
You are holy O God. You welcome us to your throne and you promise to hear and respond. We thank you for this amazing access to you. We are in awe that our faith in Jesus and in His life and sacrifice makes this possible. Let us never take this for granted. Help us to truly have the mind of Christ. We know that you desire to hear our prayers, even though you know our thoughts. You want us to ask, and to ask again on behalf of ourselves and others, to impact your world. You don’t grow tired of us. Thank you.
In Jesus’s authority, on the basis of His merit and in accordance to His will, we pray. Amen.