Why Pray “in Jesus’ Name”


John 14:13a says, “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Are we suppose to pray in Jesus Name?

Seems like a pretty clear blank check, doesn’t it? I mean, what could be more clear—you ask, end your prayer with the words “in Jesus’ name, amen,” and sit back and expect to get whatever you asked for, right?

Well, not exactly! First, we need to add the rest of the verse. John 14:13 continues by saying, “so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.”

So, condition one, what God will grant when we pray is whatever will bring glory to the Father. How many of your prayers will bring glory to God if they are answered? Ouch.

But let’s think for a moment what is meant by “in my name.” Consider these thoughts on what names meant in the Hebrew culture.

In ancient cultures, names often did more than merely connect one to a family heritage. Names were imbued with power. To know someone’s name was to enjoy special access and special knowledge because names were often thought to reflect a person’s character or destiny.[1]

Even though we assign great significance to names and titles today, they were far more important to the men and women of the ancient Near East during biblical times. For them, the very existence of a thing was tied up with the revelation of its name.[2]


When Jesus was so named by the angel, it was more than simply an expression of the messianic hope of Israel. It was an affirmation of Jesus’ real identity and primary concern. “Jesus” means “Jehovah the Savior,” but when applied to our Lord, it is a declaration that He is Jehovah the Savior. It both enshrines and expresses the mystery of His Person and the marvels of His work.[3]

So, when you pray “in the name of Jesus,” you are invoking all that God has done for you through Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, current sojourn in heaven, and His reign as the future King. You are saying, in effect, “As a result of my prayer today, may your kingdom come, and your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Go Deeper

[1] Nathan Stone, Names of God (Names of… Series) (Moody Publishers, Kindle Edition).

[2] Ken Hemphill, The Names of God (B&H Publishing Group, Kindle Edition).

[3] Elmer Towns, The Ultimate Guide to the Names of God (Baker Publishing Group, Kindle Edition), p. 127.

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