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Praying in Jesus’ Name


Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16

Just before we close a prayer with an amen, most Christians will say something like “in Jesus’ name” or “for Jesus’ sake.” What are we actually doing when we say that? Is it anything more than just a nice way to close things off?

To pray in Jesus’ name is to trust the saving work of the Lord Jesus as the sole ground of our access to God. We could never go to God just in our own name. We couldn’t go to God and plead based on our own merits. No, we go to God in Jesus’ name—and it is a tremendous privilege to do so! Only because we have a sympathetic High Priest can we “draw near to the throne of grace” with confidence that God Most High will receive us.

Because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we can cast our burdens, our fears, our failures, our expectations, and all our hopes and dreams upon our heavenly Father. No request is too great for Him.

The hymn writer put the opportunity of prayer wonderfully well:

Approach, my soul, the mercy seat
Where Jesus answers prayer;
There humbly fall before His feet,
For none can perish there.
Thy promise is my only plea;
With this I venture nigh:
Thou callest burdened souls to Thee,
And such, O Lord, am I.

John Newton, “Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat” (1779).

Coming to God with such an approach is not just one way among many; it is the only way He will hear our pleas as a Father listening to His children. So, whenever you pray, come to your Father in the name of His Son, trusting that His Spirit will guide you.

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