The last thing you would expect is your neighbor using that phrase to make you come out and move your oxcart from in front of their driveway or even the Musketeer asking to borrow some money.
Everyone knew that the only legal reason someone could invoke the king’s name was that they were on the king’s business, and any other use of his name was illegal and might land your head in the stocks or even worse, in a basket.
This medieval example came to mind recently while I was considering how some Christians use the phrase “in Jesus’ name” as some sort of blanket incantation to make their oftentimes selfish or even bizarre requests come to pass. They later suffer shipwreck in their faith when the formula doesn’t work.
However, asking something in Jesus’ name is very powerful when the person who is asking is a servant of the same King and is also on an errand for the King. Any other use of His name is basically spiritual corruption.
When we use Jesus’ name the doors that we are knocking on are the nations and the hearts of mankind. The doors that we close are those that lead to or allow evil. Along the way it is quite safe for us to ask for personal provisions to support us. Musketeers called this a per diem, and Christians call this, “Our Daily Bread.”
It is also safe to use God’s name as did soon to be King David when he stood before the intimidating Goliath, but it is extremely unsafe to use it when we don’t personally know Jesus as in the case of the seven sons of Sceva. Acts 19:11-17
We should never abandon the authority that we have as believers, but the church would find herself in much better shape and amply supplied if she only used the King’s name while on the King’s errand, namely the Great Commission.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:3
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. 1 Jn 5:14,15