To be at one with Jesus Christ.
Bingham Hunter quotes Samuel Chadwick [author of The Path of Prayer]: “To pray in the Name of Christ . . . is to pray as one who is at one with Christ, whose mind is the mind of Christ, whose desires are the desires of Christ, and whose purpose is one with that of Christ.”
I think Chadwick is saying strive to that level of life and you will receive bounteous blessings.
What do we have to do to reach that level?
First, one should pray for the glorification of God. John 14:13 says “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” This is a departure for many Christians who pray with certain goals in mind. Many pray with their own petitions as their main concern when God should be uppermost. We should be engrossed with God’s glory but maybe this goes against our selfish nature.
Secondly, to be at one with Jesus Christ means that our prayer should be made “only on the merits or basis of Jesus’ work, not our own.” As we approach this Easter season, we need to acknowledge the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus. We can focus on so many aspects of this act of love of God and Son for man but for the sake of prayer, it is the basis of our communication with God. Ephesians 3:12 states “In Him and through faith in Him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” Jesus is the one and only true living way to communicate with God.
Thirdly, being one with Christ should result in us being true disciples. Jesus claims He did His work on behalf of His Father. Likewise, as we pray, we should be engaged in the work of The Lord. Jesus said “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples” [John 8:31]. “If you love me, you will obey what I command” [John 14:15]. If we are not working for God, we have no claim to represent Him. If we are not representing God, our prayers may be very weak indeed.
Finally, to be one with Christ is to seek to pray as Jesus would have prayed in the same situation. Hunter bases this idea on the way the Bible uses the word “name” as we pray “in Jesus’ name.” In Scripture, name means what an individual is and what an individual does. One can read Scripture and note that a person’s name is so important throughout the Old and New Testament. “Generations ago someone’s name not only designated who the person was, but suggested the traits of the person. Knowing someone’s name carried with it a familiar aspect that implied that not only did you know who the person was, but that you had some power over the person. For instance, in the New Testament, Jesus asked a demon what his name was and the demon was compelled to answer, ‘My name is Legion, for we are many’” (Mark 5.9) [HCNA Website, 2017]. When we “pray in the name of Jesus” we are really praying and saying we are petitioning God as Jesus would have in this situation—prayer from the mind of Christ is always according to God’s will and it will be heard. “True disciples would not desire to ask anything which is outside the will of their Heavenly Father” [Hunter, 199]. He further states that “All distinctly Christian prayer is offered in Jesus’ name.”
As we close our comments on The God Who Hears Hunter feels he has come full circle—coming back to where he started his book. “Prayer is a means God uses to give us what He wants.”
What does God hear? He hears those who pray and live to glorify Him.
The key to all Hunter’s thoughts about prayer is the degree that we desire God. If we desire Him, He will honor our petitions. His absolute closing words are also mine: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” [Hunter, 199].