What Does it Mean to “Ask in My Name”?
“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.”
When most people pray they are really just praying and hoping. That is when we pray we are saying some words, hoping that we said is correctly; hoping that we used the proper syntax and keywords, like some Google search. We hope that God is even listening and that when He gets around to it that He will answer if he feels like we deserve and answer the way we want him to for our benefit. But this is not what prayer is like in scripture. When the patriarchs and the apostles prayed, they expected results.
When we pray we should believe and be expecting results. Scripture approached prayer with an expectation that it is heard, and will be answered. Why would Jesus tell us the whatsoever ye shall ask, that I will do? Twice in these two verses Jesus says, “I will do”. That is a fully loaded promise. So why don’t we experience this kind of prayer life?
Looking here at verse 13 we see that Jesus first says, “ask in my name”. Whatever you need, ask in my name. I heard a story recently of a conversation between two believers. One was struggling with his prayer life and did not feel as if God was listening to him. He had been praying earnestly over and over and was not seeing an answer to his prayers. The other Christian, in an attempt to help him resolve the issue, told the first Christian that he was praying incorrectly. The encourager told him he was using the wrong name to call to upon God, and because he was using the wrong pronunciation of Jesus (Yeshua), that God would not answer him.
I can see the logic in his argument. I mean right here in this very text is says to ask in his name. Does this mean that if I don’t use the correct pronunciation or dialect of the name of Jesus, or worse, that I don’t even say, “In Jesus name”, that God won’t hear me and answer my prayer? No, God Forbid.
There are some groups that say that we must pronounce the name of Jesus in a certain way or we will not have our prayers answered, these groups have a false doctrine that even says that it is a sin to pronounce the name of the Son of God incorrectly.
Some say that we must use:
- The original Greek in which the New Testament was written: (Iota Eta Sigma Micron Upsilon Sigma) (pronounced Há-soos´);
- The Hebrew (pronounced <Joshua>Yeh-hah shoo´ah or Yeh-shoo´ah);
- The Aramaic Yêšû` (pronounced Yá-soo´);
- The Greek Jesus (pronounced Jee-zus);
- English Jesus (pronounced Jee-zus´).
We need to understand that if there are no original texts from the Hebrew, and the Greek and Aramaic texts are not believed to be the originals either. The Textus Receptus and the Septuagint are our references for the modern day translations of the bible. There the Greek translation is Jesus Christ which comes to mean “Yahweh is Salvation” in the Hebrew name of Joshua. Now we can see how vain an argument over Yeshua, Joshua, Jesus, any other dialect issue is over the pronunciation of the Son of God.
In the Bible there are over 955 names and titles that are given for reference to God. Most of these are actually descriptive of God’s character or his attributes. Some of these are:
Abba – Greek: Father
Abba- Aramaic: Daddy
Abir (Abhir)- Hebrew: The Mighty One
YHWH (Jehovah) Hebrew: Lord, in fact in the King James Version when you see the capitalized “LORD” it is in reference to this term.
El Shaddiah – Hebrew: Almighty One
Bara – Hebrew: Creator
El – Hebrew: Which is a borrowed term from Canaan which means “God”
You see the Hebrews believe that the name of God is so sacred that you cannot even pronounce it, or even write it in its completion. So when Orthodox Jews write out even reference to God they leave out a letter for example writing Lord would be “L_rd”.
In truth we must ask ourselves, first, are we a Christian? You see it is believing that Jesus is the Son of God that we can receive his offer of Salvation, believing He has the power and authority that only the Son of God has, and that His Word is trustworthy, and that He committed Himself to become a sinless sacrifice for our sins, and then conquered death in His resurrection. His name, however pronounced, still speaks of the Son of God. My name is Harvey, but some people call me Havier. I don’t ignore them, I understand that they are speaking to me from a Latin perspective. I still respond to their calling me.
So what does it mean to “Ask in My Name”? It means to ask in his weight. That is to ask in his merit. Or in the provision that he has made. We come before God in Christ’s standing. This is what Jesus meant when he said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.) (John 14:6). No man can approach God the Father in his own merit. Of ourselves, there is no reason why God should hear any or our prayers, much less to answer them. God does not owe any of us anything.
Still we come before God thinking that if we review our memory verses, or if we recite enough scripture, or even if we have done enough Bible study to show God how good a Christian we are, then! He will hear us! We feel all spiritual and even invoke the name of Jesus in the proper context and then God has to hear and give us what we prayed for. WOW! What arrogance we have! We forget the warning of James that says, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)
Jesus did not put a bunch of conditions on the prayer. He didn’t say:
- If you sin, don’t come pray to me
- If you stumble, don’t ask me for help
- If you fall, I wont be the one picking you up
- If you didn’t read your bible today, don’t even bother to approach me.
- He did not say, if you call me by my proper name, or #IN JESUS NAME, then I will answer you.
No he did not say any of that foolishness. He said, if you know me, and who I am, that I am the Son of God. That I am your way to the Father. I you believe in me, then trust me. So then “in his name” means to come in the merit of his righteousness.
We can also come as his representative. We are ambassadors. When an ambassador comes to another country they do not go in their own name, they go representing the country from which they came, and they act accordingly with the authority granted to them by their own leader.
We have authority in the name of Jesus. We have authority on behalf of the Kingdom, through Jesus who is the Christ (Messiah). See Jesus came to do the will of his Father. He came on behalf of His Father and acted in his Father’s authority. He did not step out of his Father’s will, nor the authority granted in that will.
So, when we pray, are we praying in the will of Jesus and in the Authority given in his name? Are we acting on behalf of Jesus? We are praying for his will, not ours. Now don’t miss hear me. Listen to this, just because we are to pray in his authority for his will to be done, it does not mean we cannot intercede for our loved ones, or ask for ourselves.
The example that Jesus gave us in what we call the “Lord’s Prayer” or the “Our Father” shows us how a prayer should be prayed in faith. It should first give glory to God. How can you ask something of someone without having an understanding that they can and are willing perform what you ask. Then we are to pray for the things that we need in order to continue the work of faith that he has wrought in us. Recognizing that all things are given to us, even our daily sustenance. The Holy, Creator of the universe and all that is within it, the one who stands from before time began, and will be here after time is ended cares about your individual needs, especially with regards to sustaining you in all matters of grace. Not enough praying “in his name” is in real acknowledgement of full dependence on His righteousness for access to the throne of God and seeking His glorification and His will to be done.
In Luke 12:32 Jesus says, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” And in Matthew 6:8 you can find Jesus telling us, “for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” God knows what we need and is willing to give us abundantly. The ability to speak to God is given directly to each individual believer in Jesus Christ. We have this gift because the Lord wants real fellowship with us.
God gives us opportunities to exercise our faith in him by our dependence on his grace.
He said that he will supply everything we need, but we do have to come to him. He wants to hear your prayers, he wants that acknowledgement that you understand who he is and where all good things come from. God will do his part in your life. We need to pray and believe that the things we seek in him, for his glory… He will do. He has promised it, and what he has promised he will perform. Not because he is a Djinni. But because he is a God of love, and it makes him happy to give to us.
In closing I want to read to you John 17:20-26, this is Jesus’ prayer for his followers. In particular this portion speaks to you and me.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.