“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” ~ John 14:13-14
Some read this verse and conclude that Jesus will grant whatever a believer asks for. Not surprisingly, however, this viewpoint often leads to disappointment and frustration when earnest prayers go seem to go “unanswered”, and it appears Jesus reneges on His promise. However, for us to get a better understanding of this verse it is crucial that we consider its conditional content: “in my name”.
Regrettably, we often think of the “in my name” part as a mere appendage to prayer: something to add at the end to secure God’s approval. But it is not just an add-on. It is the key part because it is like a signet ring.
Think of the ring Pharaoh gave to Joseph when he appointed him governor. Joseph could stamp documents, orders etc., with the ring as an official seal and the request would be carried out as if it came from Pharaoh himself.
Likewise, as long as we walk in the will of Jesus, we are cloaked by His signet ring: we are walking in His name. Therefore, all we ask for while walking in God’s will has His Divine seal on it. However, whenever we walk outside of God’s will and purpose we have taken His signet ring off and cannot expect that anything we ask for will be given. Jesus did not give us a ‘blank check’; He only promised to deliver requests made in His name.
Therefore, for answers in the affirmative, the things we ask for must be in accordance and consistent with the character of Jesus who subjugated His will to the will of the Father and did nothing outside the Father’s will (John 5:30).
In closing, consider the following:
- “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” ~ James 4:3
- “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” ~ James 5:16b
So, let us live in Jesus’ name, so that we can pray in His name and receive His promises in His name.