“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 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.” (John 14:12-14 ESV)
Jesus tells us to ask and we will receive, but there is a detail that we often forget. It’s those three little words – “in my name.” In our asking there should also be a distinct purpose, “that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” When I think about my prayer life, this makes me stop and ask myself, “Are my requests glorifying to God? Would Jesus, whose name I’m asking them in, even be on board?”
When digging deeper, it’s interesting to learn that the translation for “in my name” in the original Greek means “under my authority.” Knowing this now helps me to remember that when I shoot my prayer requests up to God, they may be going up, but they’re also going under his authority and will be directed by his Spirit.
So, when God doesn’t answer your prayers it may be helpful to remember Jesus’ words in John 14. Maybe, just maybe it will change the way you pray.
Are your requests for God’s glory? Would Jesus approve?
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:3 NIV)