“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Eph. 2:18)
Access unto the Father is secured unto us solely on the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we pray, we address our petitions to the Father in Jesus’ name. John 14:13-14 says this: “(13) And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” There is no other name given, no other basis or foundation whereby God could answer our prayers. Our own name is insufficient. All our merits or good works are as “filthy rags.” Had it not been for the saving work of the Lord Jesus, we would have no way of approaching God. And so we gladly pray in His name. We understand that if we are to gain any blessing or favor from God the Father it will be through His only begotten and beloved Son. Some may think, “great! I’ll just ask for a million dollars, and pray that in Jesus’ name.” This is a gross misunderstanding about the essence of prayer. When we pray, we ask God for things, not to seek our own glory, but to seek His glory. The Bible clearly says: “that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” This tells us that God’s glory is the main concern of prayer, and it should be in ours as well. Invoking the name of the Lord Jesus as an attachment to a faulty prayer is worthless and blasphemous at best. The best rule of thumb in prayer is that we ask in faith (James 1:6), we ask as we seek to please Him (1 John 5:14) and we ask in Jesus’ name (which means for His sake or through Him) because we know that the Lord Jesus alone is well pleasing unto God (John 14:6; Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Lk. 3:22; 2 Pet. 1:17).