Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

Praying "In Your name"?

In various religious settings (outside the church) where a prayer is offered, I am hearing more and more prayers closed with these words, "In Your name, Amen." Is that appropriate?

Our prayers are to be primarily directed to the "Father" (Matt. 6:9). Is it ever appropriate to address Jesus in prayer? Various passages indicate that such is authorized (John 14:14; Acts 7:59-60; 2 Cor. 12:8). However, Scripture is very specific that our prayers are to be "in the name of" Christ (John 14:14-15). "In the name of" emphasizes praying by His authority and in the manner that He authorizes. After all, He is the One who has "all authority" (Matt. 28:18). The "name" (or authority) by which we pray (and do all we do, Col. 3:17) is that of Jesus Christ.

"In Jesus' name" is not a magical formula that must be verbalized in a prayer in order to be heard. But, if one chooses to verbalize in Whose name a prayer is being offered, let's be clear about it. "In Your name" is ambiguous and could be the Father. Let's be specific. Let's be Scriptural. Let's pray "in the name of" (by the authority of) "Jesus Christ."