We don’t use his name to get whatever we want. We us it to seek what he wants.
Jesus told us to use his name when we ask the Father for things—that if we particularly ask for stuff in his name, the Father’d give it to us.
You’ll find a lot of Christian prayers end with the customary, “In Jesus’s name, amen.” Or grander versions like “In the mighty name, and through the precious blood, of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, amen.” However you wanna pad it.
More often it takes the form of JesusName. No possessive; just JesusName, like it’s one word.
But we don’t really think about what it means to use Christ Jesus’s name in prayer. We just do it for traditional reasons.
- ’Cause it’s Christian custom. It’s how we “hang up the phone” once we’re done praying.
- ’Cause it’s uniquely Christian. Any pagan could pray to any god, but we pray to the Father of our Lord Jesus, which we make explicitly clear when we mention Jesus’s name.
- ’Cause Jesus told us to.
- ’Cause it’s a magic spell: “I prayed in JesusName, and he said if we do that, we get what we want. So I’m getting what I want.”
But all these reasons are incomplete.
What does it mean to ask for stuff in someone else’s name? You may never have had to do this; you either asked for stuff in Jesus’s name, or your own. But some of us have had to use other people’s names. (With their permission, of course; I’m not talking about identity theft.) Your credit report sucks, so you talk your sister into co-signing an auto loan. You can’t get a good dinner reservation under your own name, so you name-drop a more important person to see whether that’ll work—and it does. You can’t get into the gym because you’re not a member, but your Dad is, so you mention him.
That’s what we do when we pray for stuff in Jesus’s name. Yeah, God’s adopted us as his kids, and loves us and wants to do great things for us. But he also wants to see we have a living relationship with his Son. Praying in Jesus’s name implies we have that relationship. ’Cause we do, right?