Q. What does it mean to pray "in Jesus’ name?"
A. Praying in Jesus’ name is praying in Jesus’ authority through Jesus’ sacrifice for Jesus’ will.
Jesus has asked us to pray in His own name (John 14:13-14, 15:16, 16:23-24). This is not a "magic formula" for us to be certain to say at the end of each of our prayers, but it is important. A name in Scripture stands for a person and their authority (Acts 3:6, 4:7, 16:18, 1 Cor 5:4, Prov. 22:1). Therefore, to pray "in Jesus’ name" means to pray with the authorization of our Lord. This authorization comes because of the death and resurrection of Christ. He has authorized us through His Crosswork. Wayne Grudem adds, "[It is] also praying in a way that is consistent with his character, that truly represents him and reflects his manner of life and his own holy will" (Systematic Theology, pg. 379). What a privilege and what a responsibility!