To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.
Everything is funny, as long as it's happening to somebody else.
"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” ~John 14:14
As I begin again to write my weekly encouragements to you, I pray your walk with Jesus has grown deeper. I desire that you know Him in the fullness of His grace and mercy and that each day brings new joy.
I know that is a big prayer and yet I am reminded that He promises to “do it” because I ask in the the name of Jesus.
Now I know of no Christian who can claim, without some sort of qualification, a 100% success rate in respect to prayer.
That certainly includes me. Moreover, some prayers are open-ended, such as asking for “daily bread”.
Every day that prayer is answered and we owe Him a moment of gratitude; however, I will be hungry again tomorrow.
So what is Jesus talking about? Is he over-promising?
First we should note how he sets up the promise, there is a qualifier.
Look again at the text: “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
Removed from the start, is any notion of silly or willy-nilly requests. Because I’m a Pastor, I’m overwhelmed at times with appeals to pray over some rather unremarkable requests.
I’ve prayed for lost cats, wallets, keys, sunglasses, etc. I’ve also prayed for people to lose things: weight, an unhealthful habit, a bad relationship, etc.
It’s not that these requests are of no interest to heaven. The Lord can use the most humble crisis or need to redirect someone back to the throne of God.
But there is the issue – the throne of God. If we will fight through our momentary concern and be quiet for a minute, we’ll find a bigger order of business at hand, a larger conversation.
Jesus said, "And I will do whatever you ask in my name…" It is helpful here to replace the word “name” with “nature”.
When you do so in this context, you begin to understand just what Jesus is driving at with this promise. To pray according to his nature means we are concerned with what he is concerned about.
One need only look to the cross to know of his greatest concern. He loves the world and desires to populate a heavenly kingdom with souls that have reached out to him in humility and faith.
That will always come first. If we get our head around this concern of his, our prayers will line up behind that. It doesn’t mean that God won’t find your cat, but it does mean that his greater concern is for the owner of the cat. Now we begin to understand His nature and our prayer life becomes much more powerful!
Go Give 'em Heaven!