I have made the decision to stop saying “In Jesus’ Name” at the end of all my prayers. Not because I believe that I shouldn’t pray in Jesus’ name, but because I believe that praying in Jesus’ name doesn’t mean slapping 3 words onto the end of whatever I say.
I watched a video by Francis Chan where he talked about this. We pray ‘I want, I want, I want, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme….In Jesus’ Name, Amen.’ and we call that praying in Jesus’ name.
I think that’s closer to taking the lord’s name in vain than it is praying in Jesus’ name.
The Seven Sons of Sceva (Acts 19) thought that they could toss Jesus’ name around in order to accomplish their own agenda. It didn’t turn out so well.
I’ve realized that I have spent most of my Christian life trying to get God to go along with what I wanted to do. I seem to forget that he is a lot smarter than I am. That I am the insignificant speck of dust and he is the infinite creator.
So these days, I have stopped tacking on the phrase “In Jesus’ Name” to all my prayers, and instead tried to learn to pray for the things he wants to do - forgiveness of sins committed against me; provision on a daily basis rather than an overabundance I can place my trust in; protection from the evil one - who is greater than me, but not greater than God; and for the coming of his kingdom and his will on this earth.
Rather than ‘how can I get what I want?’, my driving question is ‘how can I participate in what he is doing?’
Instead of saying that I’m praying in Jesus’ name, I’m actually trying to do it.