I was told that the name of Jesus is special, and saying His name in a prayer means it will be answered. Is that true?

Anonymous GodWords Reader

No. There’s nothing about the name itself that makes it more likely that God will give you what you pray for. The word “Jesus” has no magical powers, and accomplishes nothing spiritually. It’s a name. In fact, it’s not even unique:

Yehoshua means ‘the Lord saves’, and is translated into English as Joshua.

Jesus’ Hebrew name is Yeshua, which is a shortened version of Yehoshua. Yeshua means ‘he will save’, and is translated into English as Joshua.

Yeshua translated into Greek is Iesous.

Iesous transliterated into Latin is Jesu.

Jesu became Jesus in English.

Jesus’ name is actually “Joshua”. There’s no special power in the name itself.

A translation conveys meaning, so Yeshua and Iesous mean the exact same thing. Jesus is not a translation, it’s a modernized Latin transLITERation of Iesous. A transliteration is simply a letter-for-letter switch: the letters in one language are swapped for letters in another language that make the same sounds. Jesu is a Latin word that sounds like the Greek Iesous. Jesus does not mean “Yahweh saves” or “the Lord saves” or even “He saves”. Despite the fact that Jesus Himself means a great deal to many people, there’s no English meaning to Jesus at all.

When the New Testament tells us to pray in Jesus’ name, it doesn’t teach us that the name itself is special. It tells us that the person is special. When an ambassador speaks to a foreign leader, he speaks “in the name of” – with the power and authority of – the one he represents. Jesus is an ambassador, speaking to the Father on our behalf…and speaking to us on behalf of the Father.