“In Jesus’ name.” We throw those words on to the end of our prayers as though they were a postage stamp or
magical phrase that will result in our prayers being answered.
I am as guilty as the next guy in this regard. “In Jesus name,” has become just as rote as saying, “amen,” at the end of a prayer. It is interesting to consider that “in Jesus name” does not appear at the end of any prayers in the Bible. So what does it mean to pray, “in Jesus name,” and why is it the key to answered prayer?
Thinking about the answer to this question brought to mind an incident that occurred some years ago. I was suffering with a kidney stone. Those of you who have had one will attest to the agony. I went to a hospital where I sat, or rather writhed, in pain while the receptionist asked me about my address, my insurance, and my medical history. She then informed me that I had to wait for admittance even though there were apparently no other patients in the waiting area in as much pain. I asked her to reconsider but to no avail.
Then something happened. A good friend of mine, who also happened to be a doctor and, at the time, the mayor of the city we were in, came through the front door. When he saw me there, doubled over on the floor, he took my hand, told the receptionist he was taking me into the attending room and admitting me immediately in his name. The receptionist just nodded in disbelief as I was whisked past her and into the hospital where I was attended to quickly and courteously all at the direction of my friend the mayor. It pays to know people in places of authority and as Christ-followers we have access to the highest of all authority. To pray in “Jesus name” is to come before the Father in the authority of the Son. This is not a little authority either. Jesus said that, “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” All authority is just that: all.
We will be exploring with the children this week what it means to pray in the authority of Jesus and the importance of the “will” of God in those prayers. As you meditate on our passages and theme for this week consider how you might communicate these truths from your own life stories.
BIG IDEA: If you ask the Father for what Jesus wants, He will always give it to you.
MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
1 John 5:14-15
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask, and you will receive what you ask for. Then your joy will be complete. – John 16:24
There is one thing we can be sure of when we come to God in prayer. If we ask anything in keeping with what he wants, he hears us. If we know that God hears what we ask for, we know that we have it. – 1 John 5:14-15
Thank God that He provides a way for us to come directly to Him for everything we need. Thank Jesus for teaching us to pray.
- Have you ever prayed for something you didn’t/did get? Explain.
- What does Jesus say about prayer in Matthew 7:7-8?
- What kinds of prayers does God answer?
LIVE IT OUT!
- Write down prayer requests in the family prayer journal.
- Practice your memory verse John 16:24.
- Write a letter of encouragement to a missionary.