I’m often asked why I insist on praying in Jesus’ name. I understand that some denominations and churches do not teach the practice of actually saying “in Jesus name” at the close of a prayer, while others do. Maybe that’s why a lot of people think it’s one of those “preferences” that should be accepted–and maybe they’re right. Still, whether we voice those actual words or not, my understanding that we need to pray “in Jesus’ name” comes from the Word, and I believe it’s not only supported by scripture, but commanded by Christ. In my understanding, a prayer not offered “in Jesus’ name” won’t make it into the throne room of God…
Before Christ’s resurrection, the High Priest interceded for the people. After the resurrection, Christ became and remains our High Priest. We no longer need an earthly being to intercede for us, but, as sinful creatures, we do need Christ’s “authority” to approach the Father. I guess it’s kind of like carrying your parent’s credit card around. You are asking for (and receiving) things on their authority. Now, don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying it is absolutely essential to say “In Jesus Name” after every prayer–but we must still pray “in” the name and with the authority given us by the Son (through our accepting Him as Lord and Savior). The Father does not listen to or answer prayers offered in any other name. In effect, a prayer not offered in Jesus’ name is really not a prayer to the one true God.
“… I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete… In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” Jesus of Nazareth (John 16:23-27)
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father THROUGH HIM.” (Colossians 3:17) (Emphasis mine)