“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” – Exodus 20:7
Q: What is the third commandment?
A: You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
What does this mean?
Because we worship and love God, we should not use his name to curse, swear, lie, or cheat. Instead, we should call his name whenever there’s trouble, whenever we pray, and whenever we praise and thank him.
Do you know why Christians end their prayers with the phrase, “In Jesus’ name…”? What is it about Jesus’ name that makes it a good wrap up for all our prayers?
When you come to someone in the name of someone else, what does that mean?
You could walk next door to your neighbor’s house and ask for a cup of sugar and say, “Hey there! My mom asked me to come over here for her and see if you could give us a cup of sugar.” You are represented by her name. Her name goes with you. The relationship that your Mom has with her neighbor is transferred to you and you get the cup of sugar because of your Mom. If you didn’t come as a representative of your mom your neighbor might wonder why you needed the sugar.
It works that way when we pray. We have no authority to ask God anything on our own. But because Jesus is our representative to the Father, we can come to the Father boldly and ask for whatever we need. Just like you could go next door and ask in your mother’s name, we come in Jesus’ name. When we pray, “In Jesus’ name, Amen” what we mean is that we acknowledge that Jesus is our representative and we are united to him in such a way that his perfection is our perfection. Because of what he achieved for us in his life, death, and resurrection we can have confidence to ask our Father for whatever we need. In this sense, we come in his name when we pray.
Read Hebrews 4:14–16
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
- What is a priest? (A mediator between God and people.)
- According to these verses, why can we have confidence as we go to God?
- What kind of throne does God have? Does that give more confidence? Why?
Our Father, thank you that you saved us through Jesus. In his name we come to you because he lived, died, and rose again to save us. Thank you so much for the privilege of prayer that is made possible by Jesus’ representation of us. We are in awe that we are united to him and that all that is his is ours by faith in him. In Jesus’ name, Amen.