If you’ve ever listened to someone pray, then there’s a very good chance that you’ve heard these special words before: “in Jesus’ name, amen.” They are almost always said at the very end of a prayer. But have you ever stopped to think about what they mean? Did you wonder if they are some set of magical words that you need to speak in order to get God to listen to you?
The reason people say “in Jesus’ name” during their prayers is because Jesus taught us to pray to God in his name. In John 15:16, Jesus tells us to ask for things in his name when we talk with God: “so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” And Ephesians 5:20 tells us that we should give thanks to God in Jesus’ name when we pray: “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Praying in Jesus’ name isn’t about speaking it like it’s a magic word. Instead, it’s about praying in a way that matches what Jesus would want to be done. Maybe an example will help. Imagine your mom or dad said, “Here’s some money. Go to the coffee shop and order me a double espresso with extra whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles on top.” When you went into the coffee shop to order, you would be ordering in your mom or dad’s name. You wouldn’t be ordering what you wanted – you would ask for what they wanted.
When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are not praying for things that we think would be best. We are praying for things that Jesus wants to be done. When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are recognizing that he knows what’s best for all of us. If we prayed in our names, we’d probably ask for silly things like a giant pile of money or a squishy stuffed iguana! But those aren’t the kinds of things that Jesus wants us to pray for in his name.
Praying in Jesus’ name is also about asking for Jesus to powerfully answer our prayers. For example, we might pray for unsaved friends and family members, that God would regenerate their sinful souls and save them. We don’t have the power to answer a prayer like that – only God can raise the dead spirit of a sinner! When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are asking God to answer our prayers in the power of his Son Jesus!
There are many examples of the power of Jesus’ name. One day, Peter and John walked past a man begging for money. He couldn’t work because he had never been able to walk. In Acts 3:6-7, Peter said, “‘In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.” So when you say “in Jesus’ name” at the end of your prayers, don’t forget about the amazing things Jesus is able to do!
When you listen to most people pray, they will finish their prayers by saying “in Jesus’ name, amen.” Now you understand what these words mean! It’s a reminder to us that we should be praying for the things Jesus wants to be done. What’s more, we are asking for him to powerfully answer our requests!
As for that word “amen,” it comes from the Hebrew language. It means “truth.” When we speak “amen” at the end of a prayer, we’re saying to God, “Let this be true. Let my prayers be answered exactly as you’ve promised in your Word.”