Praying in the Name of Jesus John 14:5-14

John 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. What wonderful promises!! But just what does it mean to pray “in the name of Jesus”? Supposing I was to step out into the middle of the A12 and put up my hand and try to stop the traffic – I would most probably get squashed!! But suppose a police officer in uniform were to go into the middle of the A12 and raise his hand and say “Stop in the Name of the Law!” Vehicles would do their best to stop. Because if they didn’t stop the full weight of the law would be waiting to descend on them and squash them! A policeman who commands `stop in the name of the Law’ does not speak on his own authority but with the full authority delegated to him as he represents the courts and judges and the Law of the Land.
The Name of the Law has authority. In the same way to come or speak in the name of Her Majesty the Queen brings carries authority. To come in the name of a government, or speak in the name of a Prime Minister, or to speak on behalf of a President, carries authority. But there is a name which carries even more authority than these. The all-powerful name of the Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Phil 2:9 God exalted him to the highest place, and gave Him the Name which is above every Name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Jesus – Name above all names! And that’s NOT JUST at some time in the future when Jesus Christ returns in glory. The Name of Jesus Christ is ALREADY Name above all names! Right now! Everywhere!
The Name of Jesus brings all the blessings of salvation. 1 Corinthians 6:11 But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ACTS 4:12 Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
So we express our faith by being baptised IN THE NAME of Jesus. Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised, both men and women.
God the Holy Spirit works Miracles of Healing and deliverance through the power of the mighty Name of Jesus. Acts 3: 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Acts 3: 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. Acts 16: 18 Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned round and said to the spirit, `In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!’ At that moment the spirit left her.
Jesus Himself promised “These signs will accompany those who believe. In my Name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; … they will place their hands on sick people and they will get well. (Mark 16:17-18)
There is power in the Name of Jesus!! For nearly 2000 years the mighty Name of Jesus has been bringing the blessings of salvation and all kinds of miracles of healing and deliverance, And this power in the Name of Jesus is available to each and every believer, through prayer. John 14: 12. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Such glorious promises – Anyone who has faith in me will do`what I have been doing’! That would be marvellous enough! But Jesus promises that we will do `even greater things than these’!! Whatever you ask! Anything you ask! We need to be stirred from our complacency. With wonderful promises like this to claim – we need to stop being satisfied with the low level of our spiritual experience. There’s a NEXT STEP every single one of us needs to take with God to discover more of the power of prayer!!
But what IS praying IN JESUS’S NAME? What does it actually mean? Look for a moment at the context – Jesus teaching His disciples in the upper room the night before He was crucified. IN John 14 Jesus gives us four pre-conditions of praying in His name:
FAITH 12. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. We don’t need faith – just faith in a great God. Praying in Jesus Name means asking, believing that we will receive. Trusting God that he will answer our prayers.
LOVE and OBEDIENCE 15. “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. If we don’t love Jesus we have no right to pray in His Name. If we aren’t obeying Jesus we have no right to pray in His name! Love and Obedience. And then a fourth ingredient of praying in the Name of Jesus.
The HOLY SPIRIT John 14 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, another Counsellor, another Helper, to help you and to be with you for ever- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you ….. 26 But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things.
We know the things we should be praying for because we have a Helper – the Holy Spirit, who teaches us how to pray the prayers God wants us to. The Holy Spirit teaches us how to pray in the name of Jesus. Faith, love, obedience, the work of the Holy Spirit, these things get us on to `praying ground’. Without these our prayers will be weak, if not powerless. But they are only the start of what it means to pray in Jesus’s name.
Praying “in Jesus’s name” is NOT a special formula for praying. Saying “in Jesus’ Name” at the end of our prayers is not some magic formula which guarantees that our prayers will be answered. We thought about that in our sermon about the Third Commandment – you must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. You must not take the name of God in vain. We do that if we think of the name of Jesus is a magic word we can use to manipulate God into doing what we want. Our prayers must always be “your will be done”.
“Praying in the name of Jesus” sounds a very religious idea. But it isn’t. Let’s take a couple of examples of “doing something in somebody’s name” from everyday life. In this world of global marketing, BRAND NAMES and brand labels and logos are very important. From Coca Cola and Marks and Spencers, from Rolex to Mercedes, from Adidas to Disney, from Apple to Amazon. The brand name represents the manufacturer, it represents the company. The brand name guarantees quality and reliability. `Kelloggs dont make cornflakes for anybody else’. The Bible commands us as Christians , “whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” So WHATEVER we say and do, we should be saying and doing it representing Jesus, standing out as belonging to Jesus, doing things the Jesus Way. It should have “the Jesus mark” all over it. And praying in Jesus’s name simply means praying Jesus prayers – offering the prayers Jesus Christ Himself would offer.
The Bible describes all Christians as AMBASSADORS for Christ. Ambassadors speak in the Name of their government or of their King or of their President. But Ambassadors can only say what their government or their King or their President want them to say. In the same way, praying in Jesus’s name means praying the prayers Jesus Himself would pray, as the Spirit reveals to us what the will of Jesus is.
Brand Names and Ambassadors – praying in Jesus’s Name means praying the things Jesus Himself would pray. And obviously it also means that we can’t pray “in Jesus’ Name” anything which Jesus Himself would NOT pray. We can only ask for what Jesus Himself wants!! And when we do, prayers in Jesus’s name will be answered ! There are even more promises to claim in other places in the New Testament.
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
John 16:23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
James 5:14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.
Indeed the Name of Jesus is POWERFUL – Name above all names. And God answers prayers offered in Jesus’s name because of the standing of Jesus before His Father. God the Father would answer our prayers because He loves us. But even more He answers our prayers offered in the name of Jesus, because the Father loves the Son so much.
When I go to cash a cheque someone else has given to me I don’t do so on the basis of any claim I have against the bank. I may not have an account at that bank or any bank. That doesn’t matter. I may not have a single penny in the whole world. What matters is that the person who wrote the cheque has an account and that person has money in the bank. In cashing the cheque it is written over THEIR name, not over mine. Its value comes from the claim THEY have on the bank, not me! So praying in Jesus’s name is concerned with the standing JESUS has before the Father, not me. It is the claim HE has on His Father’s goodness on the basis of who JESUS is and what HE has done – not me!! Praying in Jesus’s Name means asking the Father to give US all the things He is so happy to give to Jesus.
Back to our Policeman `stop in the name of the Law’ – not his own authority but that delegated to him as he represents the courts and judges. Prayers in Jesus name are prayers representing Jesus and His authority, not on our own. We have no rights to expect God to answer our prayers, but Jesus has. So we pray claiming Jesus’s authority- we have authority, because we are representing Him.
Praying in Jesus’s name is asking on behalf of Jesus, representing Jesus, on the basis of Jesus’s authority, on the merits and on the basis of Jesus’s relationship with the Father. To get us on `praying ground’ we need faith, love, obedience, Holy Spirit, but these aren’t ways to notch up heavenly brownie points! God answers our prayers because of Jesus and who HE is. And that’s why we must pray in Jesus’ name. So there is a NEXT STEP each one of us can take – and a NEXT STEP we need to take together as a church. Learning much more of what it means to pray in Jesus Name! Learning to claim these wonderful promises! 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

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