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In the scriptures, a phrase such as "in the name of the Lord" or "in the name of Jesus" is typically used at the beginning of statements, especially commands. In our day, I notice that most of our prayers, for instance, end "in Jesus' name" or "in the name of Jesus Christ." By way of another example, it seems that even most special Priesthood blessings by Latter-day Saints end with such a phrase, instead of starting with it.

Is there significance in the reversal of the placement of this phrase? Does the meaning change whether at the beginning or end?

(Sometimes I think when we say a prayer and end it with that phrase, it tends to get lost behind the other words, or is said quickly as a part of just ending the prayer, instead of carrying the meaning of praying in the Lord's name, which is why I'm asking this question.)

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3 Answers 3

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The answer to your question is in several Scriptures.

In the book of Matthew He told us first of all that we should pray directly to the Father, and not for rewards here on Earth.

Matthew 6:5 through 7 KJV

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Then Jesus taught his disciples (which of course includes us) in the model prayer:

Matthew 6:9 through 15 KJV

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

This was given as an outline and not meant to be recited word for word, but even if you recite it word for word, what matters is your intent; and so praying the "Lord's Prayer" in not in any way sacrilegious as long as your intent is right.

He went on to say that we need to pray knowing that God has the power to grant our every wish, and that He will grant them in accordance with His plans for us.

Matthew 21:22 KJV

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

John 14:13 and 14 KJV

13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Finally He tells us that if we expect him to grant our request we must continue in his word, and be the best Christian we know how to be.

John 15:7 KJV

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

It really doesn't matter when you acknowledge Jesus Authority, either before or after, but it does matter that you acknowledge it.

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Long prayers are more convenient to end with the name of Jesus;

Lord/Father I pray that you be with me as I am going to ...... And Lord I also pray that .... Lord I also need your grace in ..... [many requests]... ... All this I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Short prayer or command is convenient to start with the name of Jesus;

In the name of Jesus Christ, I declare victory over this problem. Amen.

As you can see, there isn't much difference in the reversal of the placement of the phrase "In the name of Jesus". It is only a matter of the grammar and the convenience of the person using it. This phrase is not only used in the starting and ending but you can also use a it anywhere anytime during the prayer. However, it is more appropriate or convenient to repeat this phrase at the end of the prayer, simply to conclude the prayer or to make sure that you are praying in the name of Jesus because it's easy to forget sometimes.

Using the name of Jesus at the beginning or in the middle or at the end doesn't matter. What matters is that we pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (John 16:24, NIV)

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The above answer is correct. The main scriptural basis is found at John 14:6.

"No one comes to the Father except through me."

Basically you are recognizing Jesus' ransom sacrifice and accept him as a mediator between you and god. Cecil covered everything else very well.

Here are some articles that answer questions about prayer. Jesus' Unique Role, Draw Close to God in Prayer, and a huge list of more on this topic here Insight from the Online Library.

All of these books and magazines are given free of charge and are available for download on the main publications page.

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