The Most Powerful Name

Why the Holy Name of Jesus is the Most Powerful Name

When I was preparing to travel outside my country for the first time, I needed to get my Passport ready before beginning the visa application process. I booked an appointment online with the immigration department. That day, I just got up and drove to the immigration office in my state. Out of lack of experience, I thought it would be like a walk in the park since the date and time were boldly written on my appointment letter. But my experience that day could better be described as a nightmare. I spent the whole day in the complex without getting a chance to present my application due to a mammoth crowd present and an inefficient working system.

At the end of the day, I drove back to the parish famished, frustrated, and exhausted. At dinner that night, I narrated my experience to the Parish Priest I was serving under. He pitied me but at the same time blamed me for not getting enough information on how the system operates before going. To cut the story short, he gave me the phone contact of a man working at the immigration office and requested I call the number before my next appointment. He said, “Tell him that I sent you. Once you mention my name, he will surely attend to you quickly.” And that was how I got my passport within a record time. His name got me the favour I desired. Some names open doors, while some names can close doors. There is something in a name.


In today’s Gospel, Jesus invites us to pray in his name: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you” (John 16: 23B). Praying “in the name of Jesus” is not a magic formula that, added to a prayer, “forces” God to answer us. No.

The Name of Jesus

Why Jesus is the most powerful name

Praying in the name of Jesus means to pray by his merits, recognising that we do not merit anything on our own. So, we pray through the merits of Jesus. If I ask my best friend a favour, I ask it in my name, that is, recognising myself as worthy of it, on the merits of our friendship. However, if I have to ask a great favour from my friend’s friend, whom I do not know personally, I know I do not deserve much from him (since he doesn’t know me), and therefore, I don’t ask him in my name, but I ask him in my friend’s name. Jesus is the one who knows the Father: “…for no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matthew 11:27). Jesus is our best friend (John 15:15).

A Precious Key

Jesus reassures us by telling us that God is not far from us, he is not disinterested in us. His desire is for our joy to be full, therefore, he gives us a precious key: to ask in his name. We can ask and obtain, because we ask the Father united with Jesus; we ask the Father what is according to the heart of Jesus, which is our true good.

This is why the Church concludes most of her official prayers with this phrase: “Through Christ our Lord.” One of my favourite novena prayers is the Novena to the Holy Name of Jesus. You might wish to try out this novena too. The Holy Name of Jesus opens doors of blessings for us.

[Readings: Acts 18:23-28; John 16:23b-28]

Fr. John Bosco Obiako

Fr. JohnBosco Obiako is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu, Nigeria. He is a doctoral student of Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome - Italy, with a special interest in Philosophy and Ethics of technology. He also provides spiritual and pastoral services as Chaplain to African Anglophone Catholic Community in the Diocese of Prato, Italy. Email contact: [email protected]


  1. Christabel on May 11, 2024 at 10:37 am

    Thank you so much Father for a wonderful reflection, I really enjoyed it..

    • Johnbosco Obiako on May 12, 2024 at 10:44 am

      Thanks and God bless you.

  2. Divawendy on May 11, 2024 at 10:12 am

    Wow educative,
    Am enlightened.
    More grace Padre

    • Johnbosco Obiako on May 12, 2024 at 10:45 am

      Thanks for your time. Remain blessed.

  3. Benedicta on May 11, 2024 at 6:59 am

    Thank you Fr. for this nice reflection.
    The Holy name of Jesus is really a precious name.

    • JohnBosco on May 11, 2024 at 7:45 am

      God bless you.

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