Ask Me Anything

MJOF-DevotionsWhatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14: 13-14).

Maybe it’s my conservative Baptist roots, but I’ve always been uncomfortable with verses like these. I’ve seen people misuse these “name it, claim it” verses as if God is their own personal genie who only wants to make us happy. So most of the time I skip right over these words instead of looking more closely at them.  If Jesus said it, he meant it.  Right?

 

I looked a little more closely at this verse and the ones surrounding it and found that Jesus is not telling us to name and claim whatever suits us. First, let’s look at what the purpose of his answering our prayers is: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. I think that phrase itself pushes any of our selfish prayers off the list. For example, if I ask for green lights through town so I won’t be late to a lunch date, how will that glorify God?

“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Otherwise, believe because of the works themselves.
I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do.And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.
Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14: 11-14).

The purpose in doing great works is so that people will believe. And don’t miss this. Jesus said we would do greater works than he had done. Jesus had healed the sick, driven out demons, fed thousands, and even raised the dead. What greater works could there be?
I believe he’s referring to people believing in Jesus and being rescued from eternal death. That is the greatest work, next to Jesus Himself being resurrected. So, when Jesus tells us to ask anything in his name – to do great works – he is telling us to ask him to help us do the greater works of sharing the gospel and seeing transformed lives.

He is giving us permission to request boldly in the things that will glorify God.

Not only that, but I believe by our not asking, it reveals a lack of faith and true concern for glorifying God by helping others believe.

May I approach the throne with my friend’s husband who isn’t a believer, begging in Jesus’ name to come make himself known in a way only he can. May I pray in Jesus’ name that when the time is right, he’ll convict my children of their need for Jesus. May I pray in Jesus’ name that I will be able to see opportunities to love someone in my path. May I pray in Jesus’ name that he will sustain my mom who has cancer so she can continue to serve him and glorify him in her life. May I pray in Jesus’ name that he search my heart and reveal any sin of which I’m unaware.

I think many of us have gotten shy with our prayers because we don’t pray with kingdom significance in mind. So our prayers are “safe” prayers. Not bold prayers that show a faith in Jesus to do great works – greater works – in the lives of those around us.

May I be bolder in prayers with kingdom significance. How about you?

 

Jill McSheehy