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?
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?