At the start, not the end

Many Christians end their prayers something like this: “In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

The origins of that practice trace back to a few different Bible passages, but one of them is Jesus’ own words in John 14:14 where he said, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

But just because you pray in Jesus’ name, that doesn’t mean everything you pray about will magically happen like you want it to.

Praying in Jesus’ name means not only that you believe in him and trust in his power, but that you’re praying for things that are consistent with his character and which seek to glorify God.

But since it’s easy to forget what praying in Jesus name means, why not put that statement at the START of your prayers instead of at the END? Let me show you what I mean.

-“Dear God, in Jesus’ name, help me be at peace with today’s tests results, whatever they may be…”
-“Dear God, in Jesus’ name, as I go through my week, make me ready to help when someone needs me…”
-“Dear God, in Jesus’ name, give me love and courage as I confront so-and-so about…” 

Saying “In Jesus’ name” isn’t a magic button that makes things happen like you want them to. It means not only that you believe in him and trust in his power, but that you’re praying for things that are consistent with his character and which seek to glorify God.

If you need some help in that regard, trying saying “In Jesus’ name” at the START of your prayers instead of at the END. Like the first sentence in the chapter of a book, it will set the tone for the words that come next…

And the actions that follow.

By Matthew Ruttan

  • On Sunday I offer up Part 4 in the “Christian Atheism” series. To find out more click here.
  • “Up!” is published 5 days a week (Tuesday to Saturday) and returns on February 27th.

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