Why Do I Pray “In Jesus’ Name” ?

Have you ever wondered why Christians pray “in Jesus’ name”?

Awhile back, a friend of mine and I attended a luncheon bringing together people from different faiths to explore working together for the greater good of the community. The spacious banquet room was filled with about sixty representatives from every faith you could imagine. Naturally, the Big 3 (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) were scattered around different tables. Catholics sat next to Protestants, who came in full-force, hailing from different denominations. Methodists sat next to Baptists, Baptists sat next to Presbyterians. You get the picture.

All in all, it was a pretty cool scene. Once it became time to start, an event organizer opened the meeting with a prayer, ending his prayer in what I consider to be the traditional “in Jesus’ name.” This quickly drew the ire of a Rabbi attending the meeting, who happened to be sitting at our table. He expressed his preference that we forego ending prayer in the name of Jesus as he found it deeply offensive. He pointed to an Imam who sat one table away from us and explained that ending prayer in this manner was disrespectful of his faith as well. The Rabbi pointed out that not everyone believes in Jesus and praying to him is blasphemous in the traditions of some faiths. Needless to say, my friend and I, who are both Christians, were taken aback by the Rabbi’s request. Neither of us had ever considered not praying in Jesus’ name. Had we ever ended a prayer without closing it that way? Yes. Could we not pray that way? Well…NO.

While we did not expect the Rabbi or the Imam or any non-Christian to pray in the name of Jesus, being told that we as Christians could not do so was completely a different story. Thankfully, when push came to shove, the agreement was reached that each person would pray according to their faith traditions while respecting the manner of prayer of others in the room. Whew!

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As a Christian, have you ever wondered why you pray “in Jesus’ name”?

Often, we use phrases in a religious, ritualistic manner without understanding why we do what we do. This is certainly true of praying in the name of Christ. So why do we do it? As believers, the Scriptures serves as our go-to source for biblical insight and faith. So what exactly does the Bible say about praying “in Jesus’ name”?

The Devotional Guy_sharing Gospel

Let us take a look at a few verses:

In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He follows that up in verse 13 saying, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” And finally, in John 16:23-24, Jesus shares, “In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul points out that through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we have “boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him” (Ephesians 3:12). The writer of Hebrews states, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heaves, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Why Do I Pray

These verses reveal the biblical foundation for praying ‘in Jesus’ name’.

As broken and fallen people, we can only access God through faith in Christ because Jesus died in our place and took our sin upon Himself, bearing the penalty and paying the debt for our sins. Through the atoning work of  Jesus we gain access to God. Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life through whom we can connect to the Lord. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are adopted into the Kingdom and become children of God. Jesus has made all things new and brought life where once there was only death.

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Jesus is our advocate. In anticipation of his death on the Cross, Jesus instructed his disciples to pray to God, the Father, in His name. Our faith in Christ opens the door to a personal relationship with God. It is our relationship with Jesus that gives us the privilege of not only entering into God’s presence through prayer, but the assurance of our prayers being heard. He makes it possible for us to have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father.

This then, is why we, as Christians should pray. “In Jesus’ Name”.


May the Lord fill your life with abundant blessings.



The Good News and Insidious Truth About the Powerful Ways of Habit

Habits, like gravity, are a powerful force. Gravity keeps us grounded and stops us from floating off into the dark vastness of space. Gravity keeps planets on course and keeps order in the universe, ensuring things stay in their proper place until they have run their natural course. Likewise, good habits help us stay on track and keep our house in order. Bad practices, like asteroids crushing their way through the Milky Way or rogue satellites crashing down to Earth, disrupt our life, leading us astray and pushing us off course.


Good and bad habits both gain strength through repetition. Practicing good habits transforms them into routine. The more we practice unhealthy habits, the greater disruption they exercise in our life. The ‘gravitational pull’ of our good habits increases the more engrained they become in us over time. However, unpleasant practices, like their good counterparts, also exert a great pull on us. Once a bad habit has us within its gravitational force, it is reluctant to let go, preferring to do whatever is necessary to keep us in orbit, until we spiral out of control.


“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” 

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:2 (ESV)

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”

Proverbs 25:28 (ESV)

Good habits that aid spiritual growth include reading the Bible, memorizing Scripture, consistent prayer, regular worship, playing an active part in your home church, helping others especially the poor and hungry, mentoring individuals in their daily walk, fasting routinely, meditating on God’s work in your life, and keeping our mind, heart, and soul healthy through eating right, regular exercise, and staying active.


Breaking the chains of bad habits like addiction, negative image reinforcement, and self-debasement or overcoming past abuse, oppression, or enslavement doesn’t come easy. Truthfully, I’ve found that only through Christ can I rise above the forces that seek to keep me under their control and don’t mind destroying me in the process. Simply put, I found I needed Jesus to overcome unhealthy habits. Otherwise, it seems impossible.

But isn’t that great news? You and I don’t have to go it alone. Created in His image, we have a God who loves us and walks with us through the valleys and stands by us on the mountaintops. We are not alone.

How cool is that?

Go in peace and may your week be filled with abundant blessings.

RBantau_072017 Devo Guy

The War Between Pride and Humility

When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

Proverbs 11:2 NIV

Like others I know, I teeter between pride and humility. My ancestral roots wander back to Prussia, a once proud nation that lies in state vanquished into history and banished from the Earth. You might say I was born with an extra dose of Pride. My father was a proud man. He taught me to walk with confidence, chest out, head held high, and to act with pride. To my earthly father, pride was a virtue. Not so with my heavenly Father. My heavenly Father, our God, disdains pride. That is seen numerous times throughout Scripture.

emperor-wilhelm-i-2295375_1920 editTo learn more about Prussia watch this short video.

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6 NIV

To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:13 NIV

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Instead of exalting Pride, the Lord values Humility. Being more godly is to walk with greater humility. This has never been easy but seems especially challenging in our celebrity-driven, consumerism culture.

We hear things like “The man who dies with the most toys wins.” (Book of Otis 1:1)

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The Word of God exalts humility above pride.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 NIV

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3 NIV  

Do you struggle with pride over humility? I know I do. Almost daily.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

So how do we grow in humility and decrease in pride?

Humility is poverty in spirit, tempering our vain desire for personal greatness and directing us to a love for God and our fellow neighbors. Humility demands we submit ourselves to God in all circumstances and in every situation. All circumstances. Every situation. Even when we do not particularly care for the circumstances we find ourselves facing or the want to be in the situation we find ourselves in.

Humility does not mean we have a low self-opinion, but a lowly spirit, recognizing we are God’s creation and therefore we have value but not seeking to exalt ourselves above God or others. Growing in humility cultivates peace in our daily living and in our outlook. Being humble, we worry less, we trust more.

We can nurture our spirit of humility by being thankful, recognizing the efforts and needs of others before shining the spotlight on us, and remaining self-aware and truthful with ourselves. Growing in humility is no easy task. Not at first. You’ll never get to the point where you can take pride in your humility, although you may be tempted to on occasion.

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Being honest with ourselves means that we must take accurate daily inventory of our day, recognizing where we have stepped on others or wronged our neighbor and quickly make amends to repair any harm that may have occurred as a result of our prideful actions. Through our personal inventory, we aim to keep our list short, and recognize our strengths and our weaknesses and grow in our dependence on God to help supply what we need to overcome pride and flourish in humility.

Walking by faith and not by sight is a daily journey that demands constant attention. Diminishing our pride takes times. Our spirit of humility requires regular watering and intentional care to yield the fruits of our labor. Without humility, we will continue to fall short of the glory of God because pride overruns the most profoundly spiritual of men.