One of my favorite collections of photos is of a family dinner. Preserved in an album are images of Dad, his sons and their wives, and his grandchildren in a time of thanks-giving and intercession.

Dad had suffered a series of strokes and was not as verbal as usual. But during that time of prayer, I heard him say with heartfelt conviction: “We pray in Jesus’ name!” About a year later, Dad passed from this world into the presence of the One in whose name he placed such trust.

Jesus taught us to pray in His name. The night before He was crucified, He gave a promise to His disciples: “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). But the promise of asking in Jesus’ name is not a blank check that we might get anything to fulfill our personal whims.

Earlier that evening, Jesus taught that He answers requests made in His name so that He will bring glory to the Father (John 14:13). And later that night, Jesus Himself prayed in anguish, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39).

As we pray, we yield to God’s wisdom, love, and sovereignty, and we confidently ask “in Jesus’ name.”