So I was praying last night while I was walking back from class to my car across campus. I was just talkin to God about whatever was on my mind, then I saw my car (which was parked in a 30 minute loading spot) and the thought came into my mind that I might have a ticket. So I then preceded to pray: "Lord, please don't let there be a ticket on my car.....in Jesus' name."
Then IMMEDIATELY after saying those words out loud, I was like hold up a second. What the heck does there not being a ticket on my car have to do with Jesus' name????? I started saying all this stuff directly to God. In fact, it would only be just if I had a ticket on my car, seeing as I was parked in a 30-minute spot for more than 2 hours. I had to apologize to God because I was praying something in Jesus' name that had NOTHING to do with Jesus' name at all.
There is a popular verse in the Bible that reads as such (some of my favorite verses in the Bible in fact):
"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." - John 14:12-14
Jesus says that anything we ask for in His name He will give us. Therefore, as long as we tag "in Jesus' name" at the end of our prayers then we automatically get whatever we asked for right?? God please give me an A on this test......in Jesus' name. God please give me a new car......in Jesus' name. God please beat down my enemies and make me thrive over them......in Jesus' name.
FALSE!!! We have taken the name of Jesus and made it into a tagline or phrase, myself included on a REGULAR basis. It seriously has become habit to just end prayers with "in your name, amen." This is a bad thing. Seriously, I feel like I'm just trying to trick God into "keeping His promise."
I act like, "Oh God, you said you'd give me anything I ask for in your name, and I said the words "in your name," so you aren't keeping your promise if you don't give me whatever I ask for." How freakin pathetic. To ask for something in Jesus' name means to ask in accordance with the mission of his name. Let me hit you with a few examples to illustrate this a lil bit.
Our forefathers in America stood for freedom in our government so we would say: "In the name of our forefathers, let's adhere to the Constitution they formulated."
MLK stood for the freedom of his people and the end of racism so we would say: "In the name of Martin Luther King Jr., let's end segregation and racism."
Love is all about having a full heart so we would say: "Stop, in the name of love, before you break my heart."
If our requests have nothing to do with Jesus' name (aka his mission/his will/what he stood for) then why should we pretend that it is to glorify the Father? Didn't Jesus say that the reason He will give us anything we ask in His name is "so that the Father may be glorified in the Son?" Therefore, if we are asking for something that is not with the sole purpose of bringing glory to God, then we should NOT say that it is in Jesus' name....because it purely isn't. All we are doing is making a slight mockery of the most powerful name in all existence. Whatever language you say it in, whether you say Jesus, Jeshua, Yeshua, or whatever translation of His name, let's not just throw it out there for trivial things that have nothing to do with bringing glory to that name.
I'm going to try to make it a point to only say "in Jesus' name" when I actually mean those words, as opposed to just throwing it on the end of every request I make. So Lord, in Jesus' name, please help us to glorify you and your mighty name and forgive us for being so stupid and religious (the bad kind).
Much peace and love.