Ask in My Name

Yeshua says that when we pray, we should “ask in his name.” What does it mean to pray in the name of Yeshua?

Devotion in prayer (Photo by Matthew Angus on Unsplash)

In the Messianic Era, God will be quick to answer prayer: “It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24). The Master encouraged His disciples to pray to the Father in His name “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). He said that anything we ask in his name, He will do (John 14:14).

In Judaism, to pray “in the name” of another implies invoking the merit and virtue of a righteous person and the favor that person has with God. In Chasidic Judaism, for example, disciples pray in the name of their righteous rebbe on the assumption that God will answer the prayer for the sake of the rebbe. In the Torah, Abraham’s servant Eliezer prays in the name of his master Abraham: “O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham” (Genesis 24:12). Likewise, Moses prayed in the name of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jewish prayer frequently invokes the merit and memory of the patriarchs.

The Master told the disciples to pray to the Father on His merit and authority. He said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full” (John 16:23-24). They were to pray directly to the Father. The Son does not play an intermediary role in prayer as a messenger passing the requests on to God: “I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you” (John 16:26-27). Instead, to do anything “in the name” of someone else implies acting on the authority of the person invoked. For example, the sages transmitted the teachings of Torah in the name of sages from previous generations, i.e., on the authority of their teaching. The disciples immersed people in the name of Yeshua, and they performed miracles in His name, that is, on His authority. Yeshua told the disciples, “I appointed you … that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you” (John 15:16).

The disciple of Yeshua should pray with confidence. Though we are unworthy of having God answer our prayers, we know that our righteous Master is worthy. When we ask in the name of the Master, God regards it as if Yeshua Himself made the request.

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This coming year Torah Clubs are studying the Gospels from a Messianic Jewish perspective. Club members will encounter Yeshua of Nazareth in his Jewish context. Discover the historical and cultural backdrops of the gospels and be amazed as the teachings of Yeshua snap into focus and clarity. Unravel his difficult words and parables; study Jewish parallels to his teachings; and ultimately know Jesus better.

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