Q. Jesus said that whatever we ask in His name will be granted but it becomes cumbersome to say “In Jesus’ name” every time I thank Him for something or ask Him to bless someone. I find that I start saying it more as a chant than in reverence. Also, do we need to confess we are sinners and ask for forgiveness every time we pray? Or is once a day sufficient? I find that after I go through all the formalities every time I talk to God, sometimes I forget what I was going to pray about. It also takes a lot of the “spontaneity” out of the conversation, when spontaneity is what I’m trying to add to my prayers.
A. In my opinion you’re being way too structured about this. If you had a best friend who was your constant companion you would maintain a running conversation. (This is what Paul meant when he said, “Pray without ceasing” in 1 Thes. 5:17) You wouldn’t be bound by rules of formality but would bring up whatever was on your mind. (This is praying as the spirit leads you.) If you did something that disappointed or offended your friend you would say you’re sorry. (This is asking forgiveness.) Think of your relationship with Jesus the same way.