Praying in Jesus’ name is like writing a check from His account. Our account has limited funds; His doesn't.
“. . . so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16)
Jesus used the phrase “in my name” quite a few times, often in the context of prayer. That’s why we use it in our prayers as frequently as we do; it makes a nice a tagline whenever we’re ending a conversation with the Father. But what exactly does it mean? And is it really just a closing line to validate our requests?
It’s human nature to pray from our own energy and identity. Lines like, “Lord, I know I don’t deserve this, but . . .,” or, “Lord, I’ve served you as faithfully as I know how, and all I’m asking is . . .” are indications that we’re praying as ourselves. These are natural sentiments, but they are totally irrelevant. Whether we say them or think them, we’re asking in our own name, from our own identity. That won’t get us very far.
If we pray in his name, however, we’re praying from his identity, based on what he deserves to inherit (everything), empowered by his strength and energy and interests. That’s a different story altogether. Whenever we pray in his name, we’re choosing not to pray in our own. And that’s always a good deal for us.
Look at it this way: Praying in Jesus’ name is like writing a check from his account. Ours have limited funds; his doesn’t. Our name may have some credibility; his has infinitely more. His signature on his account is a solid authorization. Base your prayers on his merit—in his name, as though you are clothed completely in his identity—and they will become far more powerful.