Some people believe that the name of Jesus Christ will work like a magic charm if only we have faith. I suggest it has more to do with the words of
Some will make the problem worse by telling you that if you really have faith, you will always be healed, miracles will happen everyday, and you will enjoy wealth and prosperity as a sign of God's favor. They twist a simple greeting from Scripture and make a doctrinal statement out of it, namely these words, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (III John 2). But, that was not a revelation from God containing a promise for all who have faith; it was, for anyone who knows how to read with comprehension, a greeting from John himself, no more significant than saying, "Godspeed." John was being polite and friendly, and that is all there is to it (the Epistle is Scripture and therefore inspired by the Holy Spirit; but, it was also a letter from a man to someone specific, and has a human element, namely a simple greeting. Even so, what would constitute health or prosperity in the spiritual and Apostolic mind of
But, it is equally wrong to assume that we cannot pray with faith that God will intervene for good in the lives of those we love, and to meet our needs. God's will is not some clouded unknowable mystery, so that all we can say is "thy will be done," with no real substantial petitions for those in need. Rather, the issue of God's will it is partly an attitude of heart that we must have, that is, the resolution that by the grace of God at work through the Holy Spirit, we will walk henceforth in newness of life in obedience to the will of God as he revealed it by his commandments. It is no good trying to know the will of God unless we accept the commandments that contain the revelation of what His unchanging will for us most certainly always is.
In this light, to pray in the name of Jesus is not merely to be a name dropper, to impress the Father by claiming to know Someone in the ultimate Who's Who directory. How can we presume to think we have asked anything in the Name of Jesus Christ merely because we have spoken his Name? Anyone can say his Name, and say it as if it were merely the magic words. Invoking the Name of Jesus Christ carries with it the implication of asking according to God's will, and of living according to his revealed will, as revealed in Scripture through those things He has commanded us.
I would like to pray that the Baltimore Orioles win the world series (still a Marylander where that is concerned), but I cannot ask such a thing in Christ's Name (and it has not appeared to be the will of God for a long time anyway). You cannot ask, in Christ's Name, that you win out over the competition in business; but you can ask, in the name of Jesus Christ with full confidence and assurance of faith, that He provide your every need. Certainly, we cannot ask God to do evil to others, or to assist us in an immoral cause; and it would be blasphemy to do so, double blasphemy to do so in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Asking in the Name of Jesus Christ has everything to do with the doctrinal revelation I have drawn out from Scripture for your edification. It also provides a check within our hearts about what we may ask with faith.
wrote, in the first
Epistle to Saint Timothy, the second chapter: Saint
 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
 And having an high priest over the house of God;
 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
On this Rogation Sunday, as we prepare for the day of Ascension, and then for the Day of Pentecost, hoping for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in power, let us have these words as frontlets between our eyes: “Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”