What does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name?
To answer this question and to live victoriously, as the Lord Jesus Christ intends for us to live, we must know who our enemy is and how it all works.
We read in the Bible that the weapons the devil uses against us are deception and lies, and the battlefield is our minds. But how does the devil affect our minds? Let’s look at the meaning of the word “devil.”
From the Greek word “diabolos,” which is a compound of the words “dia” and “ballo,” we have the idea of “penetration” (dia) and “to throw” something, like a ball (ballo). Therefore, the word diabolos describes the repetitive action of hitting something again and again until that object is so worn down that it can be completely penetrated (“Warriors: In the Battle the Victory is Ours,” pg.18).
The devil will introduce a lie into our thinking, fool us into believing that the thought is “our” thought, rather than “his,” and we will own it and empower it to become reality.
So, is there any line of defense for us? You bet.
“The Son of God came that He might destroy the works of the devil … At the cross Jesus stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority and marched them naked through the streets … [Therefore,] God put all things under His feet … [And soon], this God of peace will crush Satan under your feet …” (1 John 3:8; Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 1:22; Romans 16:20 – Message, Amplified, Living, NIV).
Jesus signed a decree at Calvary and made it irrevocable through His resurrection that gives to us His own authority and power to engage and defeat our spiritual enemy. Christ’s authority and power are our weapons.
However, having authority legally and using it experientially can be two very different things. For instance, a sheriff may have a badge—proof of their legal authority, but a badge is not sufficient when they are fighting a dangerous armed criminal.
I may have authority as a faith believer, but until I have the power to use it correctly, my lifestyle will be unchanged—I’ll be constantly harassed by the enemy. Therefore, in order to make our legal spiritual authority a reality in our everyday lives and to give us the power against our enemy, Christ has come into our lives through the Holy Spirit who gives us His power to back up our authority.
We read in Scripture “ …You will be given power when the Holy Spirit has come to you… Christ is in you… And greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (Acts 1:8; Colossians 1:27; 1 John 4:4, Phillips, KJV).
Now, realizing that we have in Christ both authority and power, we can begin to take action, fully aware that we are no longer in a battle to win a victory but, rather, to enforce a victory Jesus has already won. And that’s what it means to pray “in Jesus’ name.” We are using the authority and power that Christ effected for us at Calvary against the enemy.
So, when you pray “in Jesus’ name,” is it just a way to end your prayer, or are you recognizing that you are bringing into that prayer all of the authority and power of Jesus Christ Himself?
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