John 16:23 (NIV) In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
One of the deepest mysteries of Christianity is the transcendental union of the Divine with His Image.
Much of what is popularly said about praying in Jesus’ name, is based upon the notion that it is like saying a mantra or magical spell.
The Bible recounts a time when a band of exorcist brothers known as “the Sons of Seva,” had been exorcising demons in the name of Jesus. One day when they encountered a demoniac, one of the exorcists said: “in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out!”
The demoniac answered: “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the Bible says in Acts 19:16 that: the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. And that he gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
In order to effectively pray in the name of Jesus, one must discard all pretensions that suggest that God is bound to rendering irresistible service to the name proper of Jesus.
The exorcists believed that God’s manifested power could be manipulated by means of a particular name, formula or mantra.
But God is not enchanted by any means. His graces proceed from an infinite and all-permeating love for his Creation.
The only way to have power in the name of Jesus, is to submit our entire lives to Jesus Christ as his disciples. When we answer his call to discipleship, then the Lord can “use us” as vehicles through which his perfect will is manifested.
“Answered prayer is simply the result of God “using us” as his vehicles of grace.”–jcr
But there’s an even greater element to the mystery of praying in the name of Jesus. Galatians 3:27 says:
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
When we come before God the Father with our requests, we are doing so as if we were his son, Jesus Christ.
To pray in the name of Jesus is an enormous responsibility. Although it is true that we have been declared righteous through Christ, the responsibility of the disciple of Jesus is to live in a way, as if it were Jesus himself living through us.
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.-2Corinthians 5:15
If we pray in the name of Jesus while not allowing for him to live through us, then we have no right to pray in his name before the Father.
But… if we are striving to be Christ’s disciples- then the promise still holds true- that whatever we ask the Father in Jesus’ name, that it would be answered. In fact, when the Father looks at you, he sees you as his irresistible, only-begotten Son.
Ask…and it shall be given you. Seek…and you shall find. Knock…and the door shall be opened.