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How to Pray in Jesus’s Name

July 12th, 2013

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

Sometimes we pray in the “name of the Lord Jesus” without our spirits being in agreement with His will. I have known some to assume that these words “Jesus’ Name” are nothing more than some type of magic formula we tack onto the end of our prayers to give them more power. Those thoughts are pagan at their heart, not Christian, and they do not stand up to the test of Scripture.

The phrase “In Jesus’ name” means to pray for His sake and not our own. It means to do something that will give Him pleasure, that will enlarge His reputation among people, that will fit into His plan and fulfill His purpose. If I went down a bought a car and put that car in your name, then I would have no ownership of it at all. It would be yours, not mine. And when we pray in Jesus’ name, we pray like that – the entire matter is for His purpose and not for ours.

As we come to Him with our needs, we need to check our desires and make sure that we are asking for the right thing in the right way for the right reason – because God sees through all of our motives and methods. This is why the word of God says repeatedly that our purpose in asking is most important. The person who is delighting in the Lord will have different desires in his heart than the one who is merely delighting in himself. The person who is walking in obedient and close fellowship with God, who desires for his life to be used as a tool, who is dying to sin and self daily and surrendering to God, God will trust the desires of that person’s heart.

If you and I take the title of ownership of our life (and I realize this is an imaginary exercise, but still a very important one), and sign that over to Christ. If we will give Him our desires to do with as He wills, if we will take His desires into our heart and delight ourselves in them, if we will leave alone those human desires that we put aside and not pick them up again, then we can expect power in our prayer. God delights to answer the heart cry of His people who truly love Him and delight themselves in Him. Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7). He described the same attitude as David did in Psalm 37 – a surrendered heart.

Do you want something from God today? Are you sick and want healing? Are you in need of financial help? Do you have marriage problems and wish them to be resolved? God is not absent from your situation. His ears are not deaf to your cries. But He is infinitely wise and knows the true secret to fulfillment is none of these things. He is calling to your heart now, to respond to His. When you want Him and Him alone, when you will be satisfied in Him and in Him alone, then you can bring these others to Him in confidence. Often we have replaced God in our hearts with things – some want health more than God, or money more than God, or a husband or a wife more than God, or respect, popularity, fun, etc. Those are the signs that we are not delighting ourselves in Him, and our prayers, even if we rally thousands of people to pray with us, will be powerless.

But if one soul submits his heart to God and learns to transfer the ownership title of everything in his life to God, then here is a person whose prayers God listens to.

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