As if it is really just all one . . . long . . . word.
But what does it actually mean to pray “in Jesus’ name”?
Is it merely a formula to distinguish Christian prayers from the prayers of other faiths?
Is it an almost-magic guarantee that what we pray in his name will be answered in our time?
Is it a way to get in trouble when we’re asked to pray at civic, non-sectarian gatherings?!
Actually, I believe it’s something different from all of those.
When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are acknowledging to God and declaring to the world that we base our prayers in the reality that Jesus came, Jesus died, Jesus rose, and Jesus will return.
Using the phrase “in his name” is a way of grounding our praises and our requests in his story of incarnation, redemption, and resurrection.
So on occasion in recent days, I haven’t concluded my spoken prayers with “inJesusNameAmen.”
I have instead prayed, “because we are people who believe that Christ has died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again, amen.”
Maybe that’s because I love this song.