How to Pray: Praying in Jesus' Name

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John 14:13-14 “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

The greatest invitation in Prayer

Whatever you ask in my name…

What it doesn’t mean?
Some won’t pray the Lord’s Prayer because it doesn’t end with “In Jesus’ Name.”
Some throw “In Jesus’ name” onto the most selfish and awful prayers, and expect they’ll be heard, like a magic formula What this passage shows.
The invitation and importance of praying in Jesus’ name. How to hold on to Jesus extravagant promise.

What it means to Pray in Jesus’ Name.

Acknowledging Who Jesus Is.

To Pray in His name is recognize the value of his name
His name is dishonored in the world. The world throws around Jesus’ name like it means nothing.
Christians do this too. Is his name honored in the Church? When we bear the name of Jesus, but barely look like him, act like him, think like him, or love like him, what then does his name mean?

In Jesus’ Name

Son of God - eternal in the heavens, one with the Father, through whom and for whom all things were made. Before creation - there is Christ. Before the fall - there is Christ. Before Abraham - there is Christ. Before Moses and the law - there is Christ. Before David - there is Christ. At the end of all things - there is Christ.
He is the Word made flesh, Emanuel, God with Us, the radiance of the glory of God, full of grace and truth, the exact imprint of His nature, so that if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father.
Savior and Lord: The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, the Lion of Judah who reigns over all creation, the Captain of our Salvation, the Alpha and Omega, the founder and perfecter of our faith, the faithful witness, the bright morning star, the firstborn of the new creation who brings many sons to glory, our Kinsman Redeemer, the Good Shepherd, the root of Jesse, our great high priest.

Acknowledging our faith in Him.

You must come to him in faith. Its not enough simply knowing who He is. You must believe in Him.
The Sons of Sceva in Acts 19; hearing that the name of Jesus gave the apostles authority over demons, they tried it for themselves: “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” The evil spirit answered, “Jesus and Paul I recognize, but who are you?”

When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are acknowledging our need for Jesus

We have no right to expect to be heard by God.

Our sin divides us from the Holy God. All we deserve from God is wrath and judgment.
Is 59:2 “your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
What Christ has done: In his death and resurrection he tore down the wall of hostility, he paid the debt of our sin in his suffering and death; he made peace through His own blood, He opened the way to the Father, and brings us before His throne
Christ is seated with the Father, if we are united to Christ by faith, then where are we - by nature of our union with Christ, we are in the presence of the Father, we have access to Him
Eph 2:6 we have been raised up with Christ and seated with him in the heavenly places
Heb 10:19–20 we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh…

When we pray in Jesus name, we are pleading the merit of his worth

Not what my hands have done, but only the precious blood of Christ, only his perfect obedience, only his righteousness…
J.C. Ryle, “The name of Jesus is the only name by which we shall obtain an entrance through the gate of eternal glory. If we come to that gate in our own names, we are lost, we shall not be admitted, we shall knock in vain. If we come in the name of Jesus, it is a passport, and we shall enter and live.”

Praying As Christ Would Pray

Praying in another’s name:

Going to the store to charge to grandparents account - I’d get the things that grandpa would want, stain, nails, sand paper… But if I threw in a soda or candy, the man at the register knew grandpa wouldn’t pay for it - I couldn’t charge it in his name
Are your prayer requests, in keeping with the will of Christ? Would the answer to your prayers bring glory to Father through the Son in whom we pray? Would Jesus put his name on that prayer?

Praying the heart of Jesus

The best way that we can be confident of praying in Christ’s name is to pray for the things that the Bible tells us to seek. We should pray for love, joy, peace, patience, and other fruits of the Holy Spirit. We should pray for power to withstand temptation, since God has promised to respond with the help that we need. Parents should pray for their children to come to faith. All Christians should pray for opportunities to witness the gospel, and many more Christ-honoring matters.
A.W. Pink, “To pray in Christ’s name is to seek what He seeks, to promote what He has at heart!”

Jesus’ Extravagant Offer

“Whatever You Ask…”

You can almost hear Satan whisper like the serpent in the garden, “Did He really mean that?”
We think the invitation only pertains to religious things - don’t want to ask for my personal needs and be selfish.
But Jesus cares for us, soul and body. He had compassion on the sick and the suffering, He healed many who came to him, and we are instructed in God’s word to pray for the sick.
We ask, in the name of Christ, for the glory of God, but it seems that God hasn’t or won’t answer
We pray for healing, we pray our children won’t wander from the faith, we pray to overcome persistent sin; but sickness remains, children turn from the Lord, and the old temptations stare us in the face. Did God not answer my prayer?

Living in Between

Living Between our hope in prayer and experience in life, when it seems prayers are unanswered, what can we do?

Remember: God sees beyond our vision, beyond our time

Is 46:9–10 I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’

Remember: God knows what is for our greatest good

We pray for faith, patience, and love - and God gives us trials, struggles, and conflict. We think that God hasn’t answered, but in reality, this is how God produces in us the things for which we’ve prayed. We want healing, but, as Paul learned, our our weakness, His strength is made perfect. God’s grace will prove more than sufficient.

Ask boldly, surrender completely

Ask Boldly

Php 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
In everything: health, security, family, decisions - bring everything before the God in the name of Jesus Christ. Lay it before Him, ask as a child before the father, knowing our Loving Father will give to his children good things.

Surrender Completely

The Gethsemane Prayer - If possible take this cup, nevertheless, thy will be done?
Are we willing to pray like Jesus, and submit to the supremacy of God’s glory even over our greatest desires?
One of the best ways I’ve heard this, “Lord, in my limited understanding, this is what I want You to do, but since my knowledge is finite I don’t know if this is what will bring you the most glory. Therefore, I pray in Jesus’ name - that is, I pray for what will show your splendor. My desire is that your answer will be that which will produce an obvious display of Your character to those with whom I have contact, and that I will be satisfied in it.”
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