Praying for things that are in agreement with God’s will is the essence of praying in Jesus’ name; and it is important that we pray with words that accurately express the words that the Holy Spirit inspires us to say.
Some believers think any request that concludes with the words “in Jesus name,” will automatically be fulfilled, but praying in Jesus’ name is not a guarantee for our wishes to be granted. It is true that Jesus promised to do whatever we ask in His name (John 14:14); however, we cannot base our concept of prayer on this one verse without considering the context and other teachings on the subject throughout Scripture. If we do this it leads to confusion and disappointment when God doesn’t answer our prayers as we expect.
Praying in Jesus’ name means asking according to His will so the Father will be glorified in the Son as stated in John 14:13.
Oftentimes, unanswered prayer is not about God’s unwillingness to respond but has to do with requests made with wrong motives or limited perspective. We should keep three things in mind:
- First, we must make wise requests. When we ask according to God’s will, we have confidence that He’ll answer our requests (1 John 5:14-15). The purpose of prayer is not to pressure God to do what we want, but to submit to His desires because He knows what is best for us.
- Second, our prayers should be according to correct motives, because selfish motives will not be blessed by God. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).
- Third, we are to trust God’s perspective. As we submit to His will and pray according to His word, we need to be patient knowing that the Father knows the time and place for everything. And as we continue praying, we start thanking Him and waiting for the answer with faith, because the Lord knows what we need and what is best for us.
Never give up on prayer, and as you present your requests, ask the Lord to reveal if you’re hindering His answer in some way because “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18). Remember, prayer is about His will, not ours.
So how can we know what God’s will is? God promises to give us wisdom when we ask for it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
The more we study Scripture, the more we understand God’s Word, and the better we will know how to pray “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7); and the more often God will answer “yes” to our requests.
As we see, the important condition to prayer is that it is prayed within the will of God. Jesus prayed this way all the time, even in Gethsemane: “Not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). We can pray with great sincerity and faith, but if it is not within God’s will, we are praying incorrectly, and prayers will not be answered until we learn and understand His purposes for us.
On the other hand, when we pray according to God’s will, The Lord hears our petition and we truly can say: “Praise be to God, Who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His Love from me!” (Psalm 66:20)