If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. – John 14:14
It would be easy to read today’s verse and think that all we need to do to get what we want is to end our prayer with the phrase, “in Jesus’ name.”
It would be easy to think this because Jesus is the son of God. His name is powerful. It’s the name of the one who we believe conquered sin and death. It’s the name of the one who can bring, and has brought, healing and wholeness to people all over the world.
While the name of Jesus is powerful, calling on Jesus name isn’t like rubbing a magic lamp or tossing a coin in a wishing well. If it were, we know we would have far more of our prayers answered in the way we wish they would be answered.
This verse is located in chapter 14 of the Gospel of John. In this section of John, Jesus is telling his disciples, and us today, that they will go on to do greater things than even he has done. To understand what Jesus means we need to remember what Jesus came to do.
Jesus came with the message that the Kingdom of God was at hand. This meant that God’s desire for creation to be set right was within reach. Time and time again, we see that Jesus’ primary message for his followers was to lead with love as they sought to follow God.
When Jesus tells us that whatever we ask for in his name will be given, he is saying that whatever we ask for that falls in line with his message, and God’s desire for the world to operate with God’s kingdom ethic, will be done.
So then, our call today…tomorrow…and every remaining tomorrow we have, is to align our desires with God’s desires for us and the world. When we do that, all that we ask for will be given to us.