To ask in Jesus' name is to is to ask God for something from or on Jesus' account as we are authorized to access it. Just as we may be authorized to deposit or draw from a bank account when the owner gives us his name and number, and when we present that signed document called a cheque (or check), so we may draw on Jesus' account and standing with His Father-God by prayer. Of course, there are conditions to meet.
Asking God in Jesus' name means;
1. that we are in a right relationship with God, through faith in Jesus' finished work on the cross,
2. that our request is in line with God's will,
3. and that we believe that our prayer will be heard and answered.
4. Anything God does in answer to that prayer will be credited to Jesus, not us.
Just inserting the phrase, "In Jesus' name" into our prayer will not do it. Our request must really represent Jesus' interests, motives, and purpose. That assumes we have learned to know and love Jesus through the Bible; That we have a sense of the values that are most important to Jesus.
Our salvation transaction puts us into the family of God and the relationshp that God and Jesus have with each other. They have made us a part of it in some marvelous, spiritual way. Our part is to abide in Christ by desiring and submitting to His commands. In return Jesus shares His peace, joy and power with us. We may draw on His resources by faith as we apply them.
So, "Who can Ask in Jesus' name?" you may be wondering, possibly afraid that it does not include you.
All Christians are who meet the above standards are qualified. Have you repented and received Christ as your personal Saviour? Are you praying for what God wants? Do you believe He will answer your prayers? And do you want Jesus to get all the glory? - Then, by all means, ask in Jesus' name!
You may have noticed that some Christians seem to get better results when they ask in Jesus' name than other believers do. Why is that?
Christians are not automatically all at the same level of knowledge of the Bible, or maturity of faith. Besides that, in John, chapter 14, Jesus did give some more specific qualifications. He made that wonderful, precious promise in verses 12-16;
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth.
Did you see the conditions Jesus wove into His promises? Let's list them;
who has faith in me
because I'm going to the Father
so that the Son may bring glory to the Father
if you love me, you will obey what I command
To be a Christian at all means that you have some faith that Jesus' death was for your sins, but you must also be really convinced that He has the power to answer your prayers. We can't make the second one happen; we can only believe that Jesus is alive right now and at the right hand of God, with power to answer our prayers.
Thirdly, we must desire that our prayer will help Jesus to bring glory to God the Father. Do your motives include that goal, or are you just concerned about what you want? This will make a big difference in the answers you get.
The most important condition may be the last one. Do you love Jesus enough to find out what His commandments are and to obey them? If you don't care to obey them - then, even if you call yourself a Christian - you may not see the same results as another Christian who prays "in Jesus' name."
Do some self-examination. Ask yourself and answer honestly;
1. Did I use "in Jesus' name" as some magic formula?
2. Do I really believe in Jesus and represent Him in all I do?
3. Am I truly convinced that Jesus is alive in Heaven and can hear me, and has power to answer?
4. How will what I want to ask for help Jesus to glorify God? Name at least one way.
5. Do I love Jesus more than my own plans and agenda? If He shows me a better plan, will I give my request up?
6. What are Jesus' commands; am I obeying them?
I'm sure that if you practice this evaluation often enough about your prayers, they will improve and you will start receiving answers from God more and more often. After a while people around you will also notice that your prayers get answered!
You will be able to explain to them that you simply, and humbly make your requests known to God in prayer and ask in Jesus' name for whatever is in line with His will.