“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:14)
Maybe you have heard the expression “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” This describes an unfair situation when you’re applying for a job, but when we’re talking about prayer, it’s a good thing — even a comfort.
Jesus makes a bold promise to his disciples: “Ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” This is not some empty claim, however. By declaring his oneness with the Father, Jesus boldly and plainly asserts his own divinity. In other words, as the Lord over all things, he can do whatever he wills, and he will deliver whatever he promises.
Does that really mean we can ask Jesus for anything and he will do it? The short answer is yes, but that does not apply to anything we might wish for; it’s not about pleasing ourselves. Whatever we ask for must be in line with who Jesus is and why he came into the world. Our prayers and requests must relate to Jesus’ own purpose and mission: to show God’s love and mercy in our hurting world.
And even as we pray in line with his mission, Jesus may not answer our prayers exactly as we wish or within our preferred time frame, but he hears and will respond nonetheless. So let’s take Jesus at his word and ask for anything in his name, doing so in keeping with his own heart and mission. And as we do, we’ll be participating in his work in this world.
Jesus, you have promised to hear and answer our prayers. Help us always to pray in keeping with your heart and mission. Amen.