1. Illustrated by marriage. When a woman marries a man she gives up her name and takes on his name. And since she has his name she takes possession of everything that is his. They no longer own things separately, as in—this is yours and this is mine, but they now own things together. What’s hers is his and what’s his is hers. This is also true in our marriage with Christ. What’s Christ’s is ours and what’s ours is Christ’s. And so when we pray to the Father for a thing in the name of Christ, there is no question that God will give it to us, because we belong to Him; and all that is His we may claim as ours.
2. Illustrated by a check. Asking for something from God in Jesus’ name is like asking a banker to cash a check signed by the largest depositor in the bank. You will surely get the cash because the banker knows that the check is covered. Now in this illustration God is the banker and Jesus is the largest depositor in the bank. When I hand God the check and He sees the name of Jesus Christ signed on the check He will ask no questions and will give me as much cash as I have asked for, not because of who I am, but because of the name signed on the check. When we pray in Jesus name we ask according to who He is and what He has. And believe me, He has it all!
3. Illustrated by a signet ring. A signet ring is an instrument used, especially in Old Testament times, to stamp a document, giving it the same legal validity as an actual signature. We may see this illustration lived out from the book of Esther.
In this dramatic story, on two different occasions, the king gave out his signet ring. The first time was to Hamon, who was at the time the king’s Prime Minister. Hamon was quite a power hungry scoundrel; and as it happened, when Mordicah, a cousin of Queen Esther, refused to bow down to him, Hamon became furious and intended to kill not only Mordicah but also all the Jews.
So Hamon came to the king and said, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people, and they do not observe the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain. If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed…” (Esther 3:8,9).
And so king Ahasuerus, not knowing who exactly the Jews were and that Queen Esther herself was a Jew, took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Hamon to do with the people as he pleased.
Hamon then gave the command that all Jews would be destroyed, sending a script to that effect to each province.
Now in this true story, if the document had not the seal of the king by the signet ring, it would have been invalid. But since the seal was quite evident on the document, all the Jews knew that it had as much authority as if the king Himself had signed it; and the command could not be revoked (Esther 3:10-12).
Shortly after the decree was made Queen Esther came before the king and pleaded for her life and for the lives of all the Jews, and thus also bringing to light the scandalous plot of Hamon (Esther 5-7).
The king then, being enraged, had Hamon hanged on the very gallows which Hamon had prepared for Mordecai. And he took away his signet ring from Hamon and gave it instead to Mordecai, instructing him to write letters to all the Jews in the king’s name and to seal them with the king’s signet ring (Esther 7:9-10, 8:2,8).
In the letters, the king granted the Jews who were in each and every city the right to assemble and to defend their lives; thus, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate the entire army of any people or province that might attack them, including women and children, and to plunder their spoil. Hence the Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying; and so they “did what they pleased to those who hated them” (Esther 8:11, 9:5).
Now the whole point that I want to make from this story is that we in our prayers have the same authority when we pray in Jesus name that these two characters Hamon and Mordecai had having the king’s signet ring. Just as they could make commands by the king’s authority, we too can make certain commands to people, to demons, and even to God.
But unlike Hamon who underhandedly sought to do what was not pleasing to the king, we cannot bring prayers or make any demands for anything in the name of Jesus or God that is against the will of God. We have the authority to act and to pray in Jesus name only if our actions and prayers are truly in His name, that is, according to His will.