From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

Why do Christians close their prayers in Jesus’ name?

— P.Q.

Dear P.Q.: This wonderful name reminds us — and those listening — that Jesus has opened the door to Heaven for us. We can approach Him, and speak directly to Him, only because of what He has done for us. The phrase “in Jesus’ name” is not a magic formula we add in order to make God answer our prayers. God answers our prayers solely because of His Son Jesus Christ.

God knows what is best for us. When we pray, therefore, we seek God’s will in our prayers. This pleases Him because He wants to show us the way to life, the way to peace — the way to Him. We gain access to the Lord by faith in Him and He brings us into His wonderful grace (Romans 5:1-2).

Thank God for the wonderful privilege of prayer. It should be an integral part of our lives at all times. “We will give ourselves continually to prayer” (Acts 6:4).

In the morning, prayer is the key that opens to us the treasures of God’s mercies and blessings; in the evening, it is the key that envelops us under His protection and safeguard.

Throughout Scripture we see Jesus demonstrating the power of prayer as He prayed to His Father in Heaven. How much more should we go to Him in prayer? Nothing can replace a daily time spent alone with God in prayer. We can also be in an attitude of prayer throughout the day — sitting in a car or at our desks or visiting with someone in the neighborhood. “Let us therefore come boldly ... that we may obtain (God’s) mercy and find grace” (Hebrews 4:16).