Jesus said, ‘Whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you’ (John 15:16). What does this mean - ‘in My name?’ When we pray, we often include ‘in the name of Jesus’ at the end, presumably because we feel this verse encourages us to do so. Why then are our prayers not always effective, even when we use these words?
The Apostle Paul says, ‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me’ (Galatians 2:20). Our old sinful nature has been put to death on the cross of Calvary. We’re now living in the born-again, spirit filled nature of Christ. Our mortal bodies will die but our spirit returns to the Father to be with Him forever (Ecclesiastes 12:7), although for a time, we’re still living in our ‘dead’ body, ‘If Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness’ (Romans 8:10).
‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). So, we must live in this ‘newness of life,’ not as the old body, but as the new, born again body, by the Spirit of God. We now have a new identity ‘in the name of Jesus.’
We have become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). But we must live by His ways, which are pure and righteous. ‘If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7). That is, we share fellowship with Jesus. And the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth (John 16:13).
Simply by adding the words ‘in the name of Jesus’ to our prayers, if our prayers are of self and not of God, is ineffectual. We want to endeavour always to pray in accordance to God’s will. Let’s stay clear therefore, of everything that would defile the Spirit, for the Holy Spirit must remain Holy, as we seek to live in the righteousness of God.. ‘This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us, and if we know that he hears us ... we know that we have what we asked of him (1 John 5:14). This is true prayer in the name of Jesus.
Prayer: Father, I come to You with a new understanding of who I am in You. Help me to live in the new nature I have received. The old has gone, the new has come. Let me say with Paul, “I am crucified with Christ;” dead to sin but alive to You, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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