046. Does the Bible Really Say, “Ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it”?

29 May, 2012

John 14:14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

According to this verse we can ask God for anything in His name and he’ll do it. Which is awesome cause I just asked in Jesus’ name that the Star Wars prequels would be wiped from reality.

So you might be saying, well there’s that verse right there. You can ask God for anything as long as you say, “In Jesus’ name” at the end of it. We’ll use it for stuff like, I want a girlfriend or I want a stable job, which might seem okay, but then I can also ask for the moon, or a unicorn, or a hundred monkeys.

So how do we get to the bottom of what this verse means?

Let’s say I ask you to buy tacos for me.  I say, “Go buy tacos for me.”  And you go to a restaurant and say, “I order 100 monkeys in Conrad’s name,” it doesn’t matter that you tacked on “in Conrad’s name” on the end of it, you are not acting on my behalf.

So now let’s say I ask you to get me tacos and then you ask me for help to get the tacos – well, I will help you because it was my will that you get the tacos in the first place. But the thing is, what you expect from me is different than the help I may give you.  Maybe instead of driving you to get the tacos, I give you bus fare.

It’s the same with God, but probably without the tacos. We get tripped up trying to use his name in prayer in two different areas.

1.  We ask for stuff that’s not His will but because of how we phrase it, it sounds like a legitimate request.

2.  Even when we ask for stuff within his will, we want it our way.

Let’s say you’re lonely and you ask God to help you find a mate.  Well there’s actually a whole ton wrong with your prayer even though it sounds like a legitimate request. Because you are “lonely”, it means your relationship with God isn’t enough to make you happy, which means being in a romantic relationship is an idol to you.  

So ultimately you are asking for God to help you find an idol which of course isn’t his will. That’s a biggie.  We are asking for something in a selfish way while making it sound all righteous.

But now let’s say you weren’t lonely and are simply asking God to help you find a mate.  Well, you have to be open to the fact that it may not happen in the way you want it.  Maybe for some reason you’re not ready, or they’re not ready.

So now if you fix your prayer, it might sound something like this, “In Christ’s name I pray that: 1) you’d help me mature enough so I am spiritually ready to be in a relationship and 2) that you will give me the wisdom and patience in finding a potential mate so that the marriage can glorify you in the way you want it.

So really… You have to be praying for what God wants, not what you want. That’s why when even Christ prayed he said,

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” John 22:42

Now you maybe thinking, why bother asking God to do stuff he wants to do already?  It’s because what he wants is a relationship with us. We could try to do things ourselves. We could be like some little kid trying to feed themselves ending up with food all over the floor.  Or we could ask our loving parent to help us out. We just have to make sure that what we’re asking for is his will and not our own. And if you are indeed praying for God’s help to get tacos, you may have bigger problems to worry about.

John 15:5-8 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. [6] If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. [7] If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. [8] This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. Matthew 7:7-8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. [8] For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Patience.