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 14:13-14)
So what’s in a name? In a word . . . EVERYTHING . . . when it is the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Far too many in the church today have not appropriated the power of the deep truth of praying continually in the name of Jesus. And here is what that means: to ask in the name of Jesus is to ask according to the will of God . . . according to the character of God . . . and for the glory of God. When we keep prayer in this perspective, we realize that some of the things we ask for—perhaps many of the things we ask for—do not meet this cosmic criteria. The key is keeping Jesus in view when we come before the throne of grace and petition our God for the desires of our heart.
A great many people have taken Jesus’ words—“You may ask me for anything”—and twisted this biblical encouragement to the point where they see God as some kind of genie in a bottle. Others take this verse out of context and believe it to be some kind of magic formula for satisfying the selfish desires of their hearts. Make no mistake, our God will never grant any of our requests if they are contrary to His nature, His will, and His glory.
Here is the key that unlocks the door to living in the light of this biblical truth: the closer we draw to Jesus, the more our prayers will be in line with what He wants for us. God the Father is perpetually pleased to honor the name of His Son when we petition the throne of grace for things that bring honor and glory to His name. Remember, Jesus provided the greatest model for what we should sound like when praying to our Father in heaven: “Not my will, but thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!”
So . . . have the prayers you are lifting to heaven been a fragrant offering to God? Should you be praying with the confident expectation that our heavenly Father will do what you ask? Know this: if your prayers are prayed in the name of Jesus—according to the character and will of God with the desire to bring glory to God—you may hold this truth as your own. When you pray in this way, God will do what you ask. You have His Word on it!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!