I am almost finished reading through Ed Dobson’s book, The year of living like Jesus: My journey of discovering what Jesus would really do.
Just like A. J. Jacobs, who wrote The year of living biblically, and who spent a whole year trying to obey the bible as literally as he could, Dobson decided to spend an entire year trying to literally live the way Jesus would have lived. It is amazing to discover how complicated and challenging it actually is when a person says, “I want to live like Jesus.” In his reflections on prayer, Dobson had this to say about praying in Jesus' name:
“On many occasions I’ve been asked to pray at public or political events where many different kinds of religious and nonreligious people attend. At these events people prefer you not pray in the name of Jesus. After all, the name of Jesus is offensive to some. Still, I always pray in the name of Jesus. I feel that to do less would be tantamount to being ashamed of Jesus.
Is “in the name of Jesus” a magical incantation? Does it guarantee that God will answer our prayers? I don’t think so. Then what does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus? It means that we are praying in the merits of Jesus. It means that we are praying in the power of Jesus. It is the recognition of our own helplessness when we pray. It is the recognition that for prayer to be effective we must pray in his name. It is a reminder that our dependence is not on church or theologies, but on Jesus!” Pg. 86