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light-handsHave you ever noticed that The Model Prayer does not end with “in Jesus’ name”? It is interesting to me that the only time I remember praying, or hearing someone else pray, without that closing phrase, is when The Model Prayer was prayed… and when I purposely tried to close my prayer without it.

Yes, I have tried to close my prayers without “in Jesus’ name”. You may wonder, “Why would you do such a thing?” I will attempt to explain; but first, let me ask you: Why do you add “in Jesus’ name” to the end of your prayers? What does it mean to you?

Based on a small survey of my Christian family and friends, I have discovered five general motivations for this practice:

  1. It is the way they learned to pray (not that they were taught what it means).
  2. They are handing the prayer off to Jesus; to be the mediator of their prayer, with the Father.
  3. They are submitting their prayer to Jesus’ will; in essence praying, “your will be done”.
  4. They believe there is power in the name of Jesus; power necessary for the accomplishment of their prayer.
  5. They believe their prayer has been offered in alignment with Jesus’ will (and that of His Father).

I believe there are several good reasons for praying in Jesus’ name. Some are better than others; and some are only good to a point. Speaking of points, the point of this article is to encourage everyone that uses this phrase, to consider what it means and why they are using it – if for no other reason than to avoid disobeying the third commandment.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. Exodus 20:7

It should give us pause that coming to Jesus, in His name, does not mean He know us; and that many will prophesy, cast out demons, and do many wonders, in His name – and still not enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 7:21-23). So, let’s pause and consider the motivations listed above. Read the rest of this entry »

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