“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. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me[a] anything in my name, I will do it. – John 14:12-14
DERRICK GLANCES across the cafeteria to where a girl sits with her friends. Dear God, he prays silently, let me go out with her and I’ll witness to her so much she’ll for sure want to become a Christian.
Natalie lays her hand on the exam paper she has just completed. Closing her eyes, she prays without moving her lips. God, I don’t expect a perfect paper. But please make enough answers right to getme a B.
What’s the most outrageous thing you have ever asked God for? That a twenty pound sack of money would spill at your feet? That the pimple growing like a third eye in the middle of your forehead would disappear by morning? That your parents would slip you a Ferrari for graduation-or sooner?
Jesus said we can ask him for anything. That’s right, he said anything! John 14:13 says he had a good reason to extend this invitation. Jesus-our only way to the Father and our only way to know what the Father is like-also wants to teach us to show off God’s greatness. Here’s the formula:
Your prayer for anything in Christ’s name
+ Christ’s perfect answer to your prayer
= Glory to the Father.
When we pray in Christ’s name, we are asking for our requests to be fulfilled in Christ’s will. Since Jesus knows how to bring glory to God, he will answer our prayers in his best way so that God receives the glory he deserves.
So even though you might ask Jesus to miraculously change the answers on your exam, he knows you could grow more and bring greater glory to God by trusting him as you study. The result? Your prayer helps you recognize that God will help you when you study!
Jesus himself asked his Father for something outrageous, wondering aloud if he could avoid going to the cross. But he quickly added to his request, “Yet I want your will, not mine” (Matthew 26:39). Skipping the cross was not the Father’s will, for he wanted salvation for us.
So go ahead-ask for anything. But ask in Christ’s name. Ifyou don’t get the exact anything you pray for, it’s because Christ knows a better way to give God glory.
REFLECT: Is there anything that stands in the way of your wanting to bring glory ..,., to God?
PRAY: God, it’s a privilege to ask for what I want-and to know you will answer my prayers in ways that change me for the better and give glory to you.
– Josh McDowell