Jesus says, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
Before I read these verses, John 14:13-14, I want to just ask you a question. When you pray, do you often close your prayer by saying, “In Jesus’ name, Amen,” or “We pray these things,” “I pray these things in Jesus’ name”? So why do we do that? We don’t necessarily see a command to close our prayers with that phrase, yet we do hear Jesus promising us what he says in these two verses. Is that an incredible promise? And Jesus says, “I will do it. This I will do.” So that should so definitely make us pay attention to, okay, “Whatever you ask in my name if you ask me anything in my name.”
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
So what does it mean then to ask God the Father for something in Jesus’ name? Basically, we could talk for hours about this, but what it means to ask for something in Jesus’ name is basically to ask according to Jesus’ character and obedience to Jesus’ word, which we see in John chapter 15. So, according to Jesus’ character and obedience to Jesus’ word and in submission to Jesus’ will, his goodwill for our lives, as we deny ourselves, just like we’ve seen all throughout the gospels, take up our cross, follow him, we find our life in him.
Then we ask for all kinds of things toward the end that we might glorify him, toward the end that we might reflect his character, toward the end that we might obey his word, toward the end that we might experience life to the full in him. And prayer is this conversation with God, communion with God, by which we intercede and ask and petition for all kinds of things, according to the character of Jesus, in obedience to the words of Jesus, in alignment with the words of Jesus, and in submission to the will of Jesus. So just think about that, not as merely a phrase to close a time in prayer, instead, a posture, an emphasis, a focus throughout everything we are praying.
God, we pray based on your word in John 14:13-14, that you would teach us to pray in Jesus’ name, not just to say those words at the end of our time, coming before you asking for things, but to ask for things according to Jesus’ character, in obedience to Jesus’ words, and in total submission to your will for our lives. God help us to ask for that which pleases you, to ask for that which honors and glorifies your name, to ask for that which is good for others around us, to ask for that which is good for us.
And we confess so often in prayer, we have limited perspectives and limited knowledge, and we don’t always know what is best. We, most of the time, think we do, but we don’t always know. And so, oh, it’s so good to be able to ask for things, but to know that you will give us everything we ask according to Jesus’ character and you will give us everything we ask in obedience to Jesus’ words, and you will give us everything we ask as we submit to your will. You will give us everything we need to experience life in you, life in Christ, life in Jesus, his life in us. We ask for that.
God, I pray that over every single person who’s listening right now, God, I pray that they would experience the joy of Jesus and the peace of Jesus and the love of Jesus and all the fruit that comes from the spirit of Jesus. I pray that over them. And we pray that you would guide, by your spirit through your word, every single thing we pray that we might offer it all in Jesus’ name. So we pray all of that in Jesus’ name. Amen.