Prayer is an essential part of a Christian’s life. How much we pray and what we pray about varies tremendously from person to person. Some very strong Christians I know have admitted that they forget to pray a couple days in a row. Why is that?
I believe that a big theological item to remember is that God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit are ONE. Jesus said in John 10:30 “I and the Father are one”. In baptism, Jesus spoke of baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit inferring that they are all equal.

I don’t reinvent the wheel when giving answers and thus, for your question, I found a great article written by Wayne Grudem in his Systematic Theology book. Enjoy!

What Is Praying "in Jesus' Name"? Jesus says, "Whatever you ask in my name) I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it" (John 14: 13-14). He also says that he chose his disciples "so that whatever you ask the Father in my name) he may give it to you" (John 15:16). Similarly, he says, ''Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name. Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:23-24; cr. Eph. 5:20). But what does this mean?

Clearly it does not simply mean adding the phrase "in Jesus' name" after every prayer, because Jesus did not say, "If you ask anything and add the words 'in Jesus' name' after your prayer, I will do it." Jesus is not merely speaking about adding certain words as if these were a kind of magical formula that would give power to our prayers. In fact, none of the prayers recorded in Scripture have the phrase "in Jesus' name" at the end of them (see Matt. 6:9-13; Acts 1:24-25; 4:24-30;2 7:59; 9:13-14; 10:14; Rev. 6:10; 22:20).

To come in the name of someone means that another person has authorized us to come on his authority, not on our own. When Peter commands the lame man, "in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk" (Acts 3:6), he is speaking on the authority of Jesus, not on his own authority. When the Sanhedrin asks the disciples, "By what power or by what name did you do this?" (Acts 4:7), they are asking, "By whose authority did you do this?" When Paul rebukes an unclean spirit "in the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 16: 18), he makes it clear that he is doing so on Jesus' authority, not his own. When Paul pronounces judgment "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (1 Cor. 5:4) on a church member who is guilty of immorality, he is acting with the authority of the Lord Jesus. Praying in Jesus' name is therefore prayer made on his authorization.

In a broader sense the "name" of a person in the ancient world represented the person himself and therefore all of his character. To have a "good name" (Prov. 22:1; Eccl. 7:1) was to have a good reputation. Thus, the name of Jesus represents all that he is, his entire character. This means that praying "in Jesus' name" is not only praying in his authority, but also praying in a way that is consistent with his character) that truly represents him and reflects his manner of life and his own holy will. In this sense, to pray in Jesus' name comes close to the idea of praying "according to his will" (1 John 5:14-15).

Does this mean that it is wrong to add "in Jesus' name" to the end of our prayers? It is certainly not wrong, as long as we understand what is meant by it, and that it is not necessary to do so. There may be some danger, however, if we add this phrase to every public or private prayer we make, for very soon it will become to people simply a formula to which they attach very little meaning and say without thinking about it. It may even begin to be viewed, at least by younger believers, as a sort of magic formula that makes prayer more effective. To prevent such misunderstanding, it would probably be wise to decide not to use the formula frequently and to express the same thought in other words, or simply in the overall attitude and approach we take toward prayer. For example, prayers could begin, ''Father, we come to you in the authority of our Lord Jesus, your Son . . ." or, "Father, we do not come on our own merits but on the merits of Jesus Christ, who has invited us to come before you. . ." or, "Father, we thank you for forgiving our sins and giving us access to your throne by the work of Jesus your Son. . . ." At other times even these formal acknowledgments should not be thought necessary, so long as our hearts continually realize that it is our Savior who enables us to pray to the Father at all. Genuine prayer is conversation with a Person whom we know well, and who knows us. Such genuine conversation between persons who know each other never depends on the use of certain formulas or required words, but is a matter of sincerity in our speech and in our heart, a matter of right attitudes, and a matter of the condition of our spirit.

Should we pray to Jesus and to the Holy Spirit? A survey of the prayers of

the New Testament indicates that they are usually addressed neither to God the Son nor to the Holy Spirit, but to God the Father. Yet a mere count of such prayers may be misleading, for the majority of the prayers we have recorded in the New Testament are those of Jesus himself, who constantly prayed to God the Father, but of course did not pray to himself as God the Son. Moreover, in the Old Testament, the trinitarian nature of God was not so dearly revealed, and it is not surprising that we do not find much evidence of prayer addressed directly to God the Son or God the Holy Spirit before the time of Christ.

Though there is a dear pattern of prayer directly to God the Father through the Son (Matt. 6:9; John 16:23; Eph. 5:20) there are indications that prayer spoken directly to Jesus is also appropriate. The fact that it was Jesus himself who appointed all of the other apostles, suggests that the prayer in Acts 1 :24 is addressed to him: "Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show which one of these two you have chosen. . . ." The dying Stephen prays, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (Acts 7:59). The conversation between Ananias and "the Lord" in Acts 9:10-16 is with Jesus, because in verse 17 Ananias tells Saul, ''The Lord Jesus. . . has sent me that you may regain your sight." The prayer, "Our Lord, come!" (1 Cor. 16:22) is addressed to Jesus, as is the prayer in Revelation 22:20, "Come, Lord Jesus!" And Paul also prayed to "the Lord" in

2 Corinthians 12:8 concerning his thorn in the flesh.

Mr. Grudem has 20 pages on prayer in his book.

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