Question:

Where I need help is about prayers.

Is it scriptural to pray saying "In Jesus' name" several times in between the prayer before concluding? Does it not count as vain repetitions?

Is it scriptural to raise prayer points while everyone pray until the person leading will ask everyone to round up and stop eventually? I have seen a congregation that practice this and that Sunday worship felt like wasted hours for me.

I don't want to go by "that is how we do it." I want to be able to back with it up with logical scriptural explanations. Thank you


Answer:

It appears that those leading the prayers have no idea what the phrase "in Jesus' name" means. "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13). Ask yourself a moment: How does saying "in Jesus' name" give God, the Father, glory?

The phrase "in the name of" means "by the authority of." See All in a Name for details. So saying "in Jesus' name" a person is saying that Jesus' approves or has authorized this prayer and its requests. It is not asking Jesus for approval, it is saying that Jesus has granted the approval -- the authority already exists. Jesus taught nothing but what the Father desired. "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works" (John 14:10). Notice that it is in the same context as the earlier statement. Anything Jesus authorizes carries the approval of the Father. Doing anything by Jesus' authority implies the authority of the Father. When we ask according to the will of Jesus, we are giving Jesus the glory because what we are asking is what he wants and that, in turn, gives glory to the Father.

How many times a person states that what he is praying is by the authority or with the approval of Jesus doesn't where it is or is not by the authority of Jesus. It isn't wrong to say the phrase several times, one time, or no times at all. Jesus was talking about what we should pray, not the words we were to use.

I'm not familiar with the particular practice of "raising prayer points." On the surface it seems to be a bit disorderly -- especially if it is in a large congregation. Most congregations I know announce before or after services things people desire prayers to be asked for on their behalf. However, the one leading the prayer is the one who decides what he is going to say.

In discussing how a worship service is to be conducted, it must be kept in mind that a worship service is to improve those who came to worship. "How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification" (I Corinthians 14:26). To that end, Paul instructed that those addressing the assembly had to take turns, speaking one at a time. Women were not allowed to address the congregation. The conclusion was "Let all things be done decently and in order" (I Corinthians 14:40). If this is accomplished, then it covers the one concern I had.