How to Pray in the Name of Jesus
The power of prayer:
The prophet Daniel when faced with the incoming destruction and the terrible and raging wrath which was to be poured of the rebellious and sinful Israel, humbly cried out in prayer for mercy of God's people as recorded in Daniel 9:1-19. When the Israelite king Jehoshaphat heard of a large hostile army coming from the sea, he was afraid and sought the Lord's presence and proclaimed a fast in all of Judah, crying out for deliverance. Their plea for deliverance was sealed with the absolute and final Word of God when he responded, saying in 2 Chron. 20:17 "17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” King David, a man after God's own heart, made heartfelt prayers of deliverance, repentance, intercession, and praise by the inspiration of the holy ghost in the psalms. Proverbs 15:29 proclaims "29 The Lord is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous." As a Christian, you can by the power and authority of Jesus Christ, call down the fire of God so that all people can witness that there is only one Lord just as Elijah had done! (1 Kings 18.)
First, i would like to give some scientific benefits to prayer before we begin our study. There are several studies which show the health benefits to prayer (See link below.) Now, i would love to take the time to give a Biblical study on Prayer.
Deuteronomy chapter 4, verse 7 says “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?" Compare this text with others and you will see how true this is. The prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to demonstrate exactly who the True God was. 1 Kings 18:22-24 "22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it. 24 Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God." So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.”
Prophets of Baal
Called the people around and repaired the altar (v. 30)
Cried out and lept around the altar (v. 26)
Took 12 stones symbolizing the tribes of jacob (v. 31)
Cut themselves (v. 28)
Built an altar in the name of the Lord (v. 32)
Prophesied until the time of the offering
Filled 4 waterpots with water and put it on the burnt offering (v. 33-34)
The result: No answer
Prayed in v. 36 "..“Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”
The result: God responded by sending fire to burn the offering (v. 38)
God is continually with his people demonstrated by the tabernacle, the Exodus, and his earth-shaking descent upon mount Sinai in the book of Exodus. He is always faithful in his covenant with Israel.
Who may Pray to God?
Proverbs 15:29 "29 The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous." The word "Prayer" in Hebrew can mean "Intercession, supplication", but the root word of "tphillah tef-il-law" means "To judge." A deeper meaning of the word "Righteous" in Hebrew means "On the right path." In Ezekiel 33:14-15, God said this about the wicked "14 Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, 15 if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die." From this we can understand that there is hope for the wicked if he turns from his sins which i won't go into much detail now.
The Lords prayer:
We're now going to focus on the Lord's prayer and why it's so powerful in Matthew 6:5-15
5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do.For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."
In the ancient world, prayers for food were common.
Now, i would like to comment that Jesus was warning us to not be like the hypocrites who's purpose of doing good works is to gain human recognition and not the favor of God. When Jesus said in verse 6 "6 ..But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." The Word "Room" or "closet" written in the KJV in the Greek is "tameion." This was a treasure room where valuables were kept. Only family members could enter. The word also comes from the Aramaic word "Tawanaah" which can mean "Heart." There is a double meaning, Jesus gave the illustration that when we pray, we should not share the secret things of our heart with anyone, except God and when our prayers are answered, he will make it open with the world!
Another important note that i wanted to make was that take a closer look at verse 7 "7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do.For they think that they will be heard for their many words." In this society, Romans and other pagans alike called on their gods by as many names as possible and expected the gods to repay them for their sacrifices offered to them. Proper formula and sacrifices were required to please the gods. Public prayer was offered loudly and had to be exactly correct. Pagans would pray long prayers, making the same sounds repeatedly.
God himself was known as the loving and caring Father to the Jews in the old testament. Jews were not supposed to bargain with God or impress him with titles. Exodus 4:22 "22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn." Isaiah 63:16 "16 Doubtless You are our Father, Though Abraham was ignorant of us,And Israel does not acknowledge us.You, O Lord, are our Father;Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name." The father in ancient times was a strong provider and protector whom they did not need to bargain with. Sometimes, Greeks called Zeus a "father."
Jesus used a similar prayer to the jewish Kaddish prayer. The word in Aramaic means "Holy." This was regularly prayed in the synagogues at the end of Torah study. It begins with an acknowledgement of God's rule over the earth according to his will and that we must submit to God's will, even if it goes against our very nature and in times of distress. It is a plea for the ultimate redemption or the Messianic era when God's kingdom would be recognized by all. The Jews hoped for the day that the ultimate coming of God's supreme reign over the earth, unchallenged, and would restore justice and mercy to the world. God's name would no longer be profaned by swearing light oaths or living in such a way to dishonor it, but that it would be "hallowed." Hallowing God's name was central to Jewish ethics. A Jew should live in such a way among the gentiles (non-Jews) that would cause others to honor God. The evil act of profaning God's name was so terrible and hateful that some teachers insisted that evil-doers should disguise themselves as gentiles before they carried out their wicked deeds. It was essential for those who uttered this prayer in sincerity, hoping that God's name would be shown holy in the future to live in such a way as to honor his name in the present.
Pay close attention to the differences between the two prayers.
The prayer of Jesus
The Kaddish prayer
Our Father in heaven,
May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified (`Cong: Amen.)
Hallowed be Your name.
in the world that He created as He willed.
Your kingdom come.
May He give reign to His kingship in your lifetimes and in your days,
Your will be done
and in the lifetimes of the entire Family of Israel,
On earth as it is in heaven.
swiftly and soon. Now say:
Give us this day our daily bread.
(Amen. May His great Name be blessed forever and ever.)
And forgive us our debts,
Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled,
As we forgive our debtors.
mighty, upraised, and lauded be the Name of the Holy One
And do not lead us into temptation,
Blessed is He.
But deliver us from the evil one.
beyond any blessing and song,
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
praise and consolation that are uttered in the world. Now say:
May there be abundant peace from Heaven
and life upon us and upon all Israel. Now say:
He Who makes peace in His heights, may He make peace,
upon us and upon all Israel. Now say:
There is a Jewish significance in the prayer of Jesus which brings insight to his words.
"..Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
* "May your name be holy" refers to Ezekiel 38 which is in the beginning of the Kaddish prayer
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
* Taken from Job 25, where Job speaks of establishing order and peace in heaven.
11 "Give us this day our daily bread."
* The request for bread is found in the Jewish prayer, Amidah. It was prayed for blessings. Prayers for food were common in the ancient world, especially bread.
12 "And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors."
* Jewish sages recognized sins as debts to God. Jesus call for God to "forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors" is taken from the Amida, a Jewish prayer.
13 "And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one."
* When Jesus said "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one", it had parallels with a Jewish evening prayer. In the evening, Jews prayed "do not let us fail when we are tested."
* The word "Temptation" comes from the Greek word " peirasmos" which can mean "an experiment for good or for evil." The word "Deliver" comes from the Greek word "rhoumai" which means "To draw one's self, to rescue." In this context, it's not speaking of trials which refine our faith and make it stronger, but it is a plea for God to not let us fall into temptation, but deliver us from the temptations that Satan attempts to ensnare us with.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen"
* Like Christians, Jews also added "for yours is the kingdom" at the end of their prayers.
* Jesus made a powerful statement. This last line is practically a suzerainty covenant which is an agreement of two groups. This could be between two nations, one conquered and one ruling. In other words, God's kingdom shall reign supreme over humanity!
Intercession in the Old Testament:
Leviticus 9:7 "7 And Moses said to Aaron, “Go to the altar, offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people. Offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them, as the Lord commanded.” The high priests had a duty to make sacrifices for the people's sins. We will see how this is relevant to praying for others.
Solomon's Prayer for Israel at the Temple:
In the ancient near east, gods were believed to dwell in temples. People believed that the gods met them at certain holy sites. The Temple of Jerusalem was the center of all aspects of life, where God would meet his people. This is what Solomon prayed in 1 kings 8:22-53 "
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven; 23 and he said: “Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. 24 You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father; You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day. 25 Therefore, Lord God of Israel, now keep what You promised Your servant David my father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel, only if your sons take heed to their way, that they walk before Me as you have walked before Me.’ 26 And now I pray, O God of Israel, let Your word come true, which You have spoken to Your servant David my father.
27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! 28 Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You today: 29 that Your eyes may be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place. 30 And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You hear, forgive.
31 “When anyone sins against his neighbor, and is forced to take an oath, and comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this temple, 32 then hear in heaven, and act, and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked, bringing his way on his head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.
33 “When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and when they turn back to You and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication to You in this temple, 34 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to their fathers.
35 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, 36 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.
37 “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; 38 whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: 39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), 40 that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.
41 “Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for Your name’s sake 42 (for they will hear of Your great name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this temple, 43 hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.
44 “When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, wherever You send them, and when they pray to the Lord toward the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name, 45 then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
46 “When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to the land of the enemy, far or near; 47 yet when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of those who took them captive, saying, ‘We have sinned and done wrong, we have committed wickedness’; 48 and when they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who led them away captive, and pray to You toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name: 49 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause, 50 and forgive Your people who have sinned against You, and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You; and grant them compassion before those who took them captive, that they may have compassion on them..."
Take note of the things Solomon said regarding the people's prayer surrounding the Temple:
Prayer in the Temple of Solomon
The People would pray towards the Temple
When someone sins against his neighbor and is forced to take an oath, he is to pray at the altar in the Temple
When Israel has been taken by an enemy and sinned against God, he is to pray in the Temple
when someone knows the plague of his own heart, he is to pray towards the Temple
When a foreigner comes and prays towards the Temple, god will forgive his sin
The fullness of God's presence could not dwell in man-made temples built by sinful hands, this is why Jesus is the imperishable embodiment of the Temple of God's presence and Glory! Hallelujah! (John 2:19-22 "19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them;and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."
In What name do you pray in?
To whom do you pray to?
When you pray, in what name do you often receive the most from praying in?
Prayer of Jesus in John 17:
This is what our Lord prayed:
"17 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."
Looking up was a common posture in prayer. Eternal life and eternal authority belonged in the messianic age (Dan. 7:13-14; 12:2). Jesus followers knew the future of the promise had already begun.
* One of the definitions of glorify in Greek is "honor."In the history of the Bible, this had a significance. Acquired honor is when a person does amazing deeds to gain recognition and the exaltation of family honor.
6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me."
Many Jews prayed daily for YHWH's name to be shown holy in all the world and thus honored as the prophets promised.
9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me,that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world,I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept;and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world."
Groups like the Essenes separated themselves from the world into the wilderness. Jesus instead prays for protection for his people as Jews often did.
17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth."
By what authority are we to pray in?
John 14:12-14 "12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
Praying with the Spirit:
Romans 8:26 "26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
In Previous verses, he was speaking of the Glory yet to be revealed in this present temporary age of suffering. Here, Paul was referring to the spiritual afflictions of the soul which come from being a partaker of Christ. The Holy Spirit shall seek consolation for our needs.
1) Find a posture that you are most comfortable with - Pray while standing or sitting, walk around, dance, laying down, lifting up hands, eyes open or close, etc. It does not matter as long as you are comfortable with the position that you are praying in.
2) Clear yourself of all distractions - Prayer is a special time of communication and meditation between you and God. Find a quiet room or place and focus on God and your needs before him.
A few tips for praying someone else - When you are praying for someone, pray according to the needs that they are bringing to you, but make sure they understand that it's by their faith that they receive what they ask for. If it is approved by your church congregation, anoint them with oil and lay hands on them if needed.
Use different techniques when praying - What i mean by this is when you pray, try to say your prayers out-loud and feel free to worship God with lifted hands or singing. Scream your prayers, move around, and pray using verses from the Bible. The focus should be to try to build a connection between you and God when praying.
When your prayer is finished, have faith - You must then faithfully wait in hope that God will answer your prayers. Sometimes, you may feel that he is not listening, nevertheless as we have studied, we must submit to the sovereign will of God.
Prayer is a special communication with God. The one praying must be righteous and seeking the will of God. The person making petitions must be humble and as a child, asking for the gifts that his father will freely give to him out of love. Prayer will make you wiser, spiritually stronger, and will dramatically make your relationship with God flourish. I hope that this article has given you special insight into the immense divine power of prayer.
- The Scientific Benfits of Prayer, How Prayer Works
Watch a free video on the scientific benefits of prayer and how it works.