Guess I'll start.
Jesus indicates that if we receive a child "in Jesus name" we receive him (Matthew 18:5, Mark 9:37, Luke 9:48). Would we say that unless "I receive you in Jesus name" is uttered out loud in a public setting, we have not been obedient?
Jesus says that if we are gathered together in His name, that He will be with us also (Matthew 18:20). Does he not join us until we formally and verbally state aloud for all to hear "we are gathered together in Jesus name"?
If we say that we must use the words "in Jesus name" in order for a prayer to have been in Jesus name, then it must follow that we must do the same when receiving a child, or gathering together. In fact, even more so in those cases since the clear teaching on how to pray does not say anything about it being "in Jesus name." (Matthew 6:9-13) but those other two events do.
But there also two times when Jesus talks about people praying in His name, that are not "true Christians." First, in Matthew 7:21-23, there are those who prayed in Jesus name to cast out demons, and prophesy, and do many mighty works. But Jesus rejects them, says He doesn't know them, and they are workers of iniquity. Second, in Matthew 24:5, Mark 13:6, Luke 21:8, it says that there will be those who come "in Jesus name" who will lead people astray.
It seems then that the phrase "in Jesus name" is not a sure mark of a "true christian", and saying it aloud doesn't tell us anything about the trueness of the speaker. It follows that to add verbally stating those 3 words as a requirement for a true prayer is not something scripture offers as a litmus test of christian authenticity.
In John 14:13, Jesus said to His disciples, “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” And in John 16:24: “Until now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.”
So we are called to ask, which suggests prayer, and in Jesus name. But notice already the asking is restrained to two things: the glory of the father in the son, and the fullness of our joy.
So we cannot just ask for anything; what we ask for must be for God's glory and our joy.
Who do we ask? Jesus taught his disciples to pray to the Father ... not to Himself, or to the Holy Spirit. To the Father.
So we are told to go to the Father, and ask Him that He would be glorified in His son, and our joy may be full. But Jesus doesn't say in the Matthew passage to be sure to add "in Jesus name" as a book end to "our father". So praying in Jesus name must mean something different than saying 3 words.
Revelation 3:12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
The Christian has the name of Jesus written upon him. This matches the entire story of the Old Testament where God declares Israel, a people called by His name, set apart by His name, marked by His name. Being in Jesus name is about identity, not incantation. You cannot pray, approach the Father's throne with a petition, unless you bear the name of Jesus ... are washed in His blood, imputed His righteousness. It does not matter what you say, even if you say "in Jesus name", unless you are already wearing Jesus name upon your heart (Matthew 7:21-23). But if you are wearing Jesus name, you can approach the throne of grace in His name, with confidence.
Every time a Christian prays, they are praying "in Jesus name" because they cannot approach the throne in their own name, regardless of the words used. Because a Christian is not praying for the sake of those listening to what they say, like the Pharisees on the street, nor are they praying in their own will and purpose. They are praying "thy will be done" to the Father, through and in the Son. No man comes to the Father except through/in Jesus.
Jesus himself modeled this idea in His earthly ministry when He said that He came in the name of His Father, and He worked in His Father's name. John 5:43, John 10:25. He did not audibly say "in the name of my Father" when he prayed, or when he healed, cast our demons, or did any other thing. He was already "in the name of His Father." He simply prayed, healed, cast out demons, etc. But when asked he specifically said that he was doing those things in the name of His Father. He did not have to say it in order for his work to be true.
If you've ever been the executor of a will, which is derived from this ancient understanding of what it meant to be in someone else's name, or had a power of attorney, then you understand what this means. For the specific purpose of your role as executor, you are able to approach authorities "in the name of" the deceased, to close out accounts, distribute assets, sign checks, etc. Without the formal appointment, you cannot claim to be doing anything in the name of anyone. You can go to the bank and say I am here in the name of Graybeard until you are blue in the face, but you're not going draw a single penny out of his account. If you show up with a power of attorney, and proper id, well then come on in, how much do you want?
Every prayer of a Christian is "in Jesus name" whether they say it aloud or not for you to hear. Is it useful to say aloud to remind ourselves of that when we pray? Absolutely. Is it required? No. Only being in Jesus name is required, saying it doesn't mean anything unless you are wearing His name on your heart.
A better question to ask ourselves instead of have you said the words, is did you pray as one who wears Jesus name? Is it praying "in Jesus name" to pray for something that does not glorify God or bring you the fulness of joy? Can we say a prayer is good because they said "in Jesus name" when it was not a reflection of the will and purpose of the Father or the Son? When I'm worried about praying in Jesus name, I think about my heart not my lips.
Last edited by teamnelson; 04-07-2019 at 01:28 AM.