Why do we pray in Jesus’ name?
There are several scriptures (John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23-24; 16:26) where Jesus directly tells his disciples to pray to the Father in his name.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13
What does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name and why is it so important? Not only does praying in Jesus’ name recognize his authority as the Son of God, but it also means that the petitioner must realize his own actual unworthiness to approach the Father and, therefore, present himself in the name and merit of Jesus, his Redeemer.
When we pray in Jesus’ name it is because we believe in Jesus as our Redeemer and in his incredible sacrifice for us. Does the act of praying in his name automatically make us Christians? No, we must live a life of righteousness and sacrifice of our wills, just as Jesus, our example and role model, did when he walked the earth.
Are we praying to Jesus or through Jesus, or both? When we pray in Jesus’ name, are we also praying to God? There is no access to God for the Christian except through Jesus. “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Because sin has separated us from God, we need Jesus, our advocate (someone who speaks on our behalf), so that our requests can be made known to God. As is noted in 1 John 2:1, “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
Only He is capable of making our prayers acceptable to God. Therefore, we definitely pray to God through Jesus.
Can we also pray to Jesus alone? Yes, we can pray to Him because we know that since his resurrection he is now Divine, sitting at the right hand of God.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11
Divinity, or immortality, was the gift God gave Jesus for his incredible sacrifice of death on the cross. In summary, as Christians, we can only pray to God through the merit of his son Jesus, but since his return to God in heaven, we can also pray directly to Jesus, our advocate, because he now is divine like God.
To learn more about prayer listen to, “What Can We Learn From Jesus’ Final Prayers?”