PRAYING IN JESUS' NAME
by John Abraham Godson
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
Whatsoever we shall ask God in the name of Jesus, it shall be given to us. What does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus? What makes praying in the name of Jesus so powerful and effectual?
Praying in the name of Jesus has two dimensions. The first dimension is actually using the name of Jesus. The Bible says:
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:9-11)
There is power in the name of Jesus. The Bible says that God has given Jesus a name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus, EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. When we call on that name everything comes to a standstill. When we call that name, demons flee and angels bow. There is power in the name of Jesus.
The second dimension is the most important however. To pray in Jesus name is to pray in the stead of Jesus. It means to pray as if Jesus was praying. To do this, something needs to happen in the life of the person praying. Paul typified this thing that needs to happen in the following way:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)
What had happened in Paul? Paul had been displaced and replaced by Jesus. It was no longer Paul that lived but Jesus lived in Him. It was Jesus that was at work in Paul. So whenever Paul prayed it was not Paul praying but Jesus praying through Paul. So Paul was praying in the name of Jesus.
My prayer is that God will help us understand this profound truth. Let me give you another example.
“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:13-16)
These were the sons of Sceva. They had observed Paul many times casting out demons in the name of Jesus. So they wanted to give it a try. So when they met a man possessed by demons, they said “We command you, in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, come out”. The demon possessed man looked at them and said “I know who Jesus is. I know who Paul is. But who are you?” He attacked them and beat them and tore their clothes.
Now notice that Paul casted out demons in Jesus name. Why couldn’t these men cast out demons in the same name of Jesus? The reason is that they had not been displaced by Jesus. They were still alive and on the throne of their hearts. Jesus was not living in them. And demons noticed that. “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?”
We can not pray in Jesus name until Jesus truly becomes our LORD. We cannot truly pray in the name of Jesus until we begin to live for Jesus. The Bible says in 2 Cor 5:15
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again”
Jesus died so that those of us who live should no longer live for our selves but for Him. We have been bought with a price. We are no longer our own.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Cor 3:16-17)
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” 1 Cor 6:19-20
When Saul was persecuting the early Christians and he encountered Jesus on his way to Damascus, do you know what Jesus said to him? “And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” (Acts 9:4-5)
Jesus asked Paul, why do you persecute me? Was Paul persecuting Jesus? From a human standpoint- no. In reality however, Paul was persecuting those who were carrying Jesus in their hearts. This may sound like science fiction but it is true. Every Christian who has truly and totally given and surrendered his life to Jesus is living a crucified life. Jesus is the one living in him. His prayers would be as if Jesus was praying. The prayers of Jesus attracts God’s attention.
It is not enough to just say “we pray in the name of Jesus”. God wants us to really pray in the name of Jesus. For Christ in us is the hope of glory. The prayer that God answers is prayer in the name of Jesus.
About the author
John Abraham Godson (formerly Godson Onyekwere) is a Nigerian serving as a missionary in Poland, Eastern Europe for the past 13 years. He is the international director of Pilgrim Mission International. The main vision of his ministry is “Revival” which comes through fervent and persevering intercessory prayer and bold uncompromising preaching of the Word of God. He also serves as the chair for the Lausanne Intercession Working Group in Eastern Europe/Eurasia, and International facilitator for the Network of Nigerian Missionaries Overseas.
Together with his wife Aneta and 4 children, they make their home in Lodz, Central Poland.