What if I ask wrongly?

Read John 14:1-13.

The times had been full of confusion and fear. Attacks were coming from all sides, so it was time for a discipleship retreat. Yet, even as they began their time together, Judas had suddenly rushed out, and Jesus told Peter he would disown him three times. The disciples needed to hear words of comfort that would get them through the next few days.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me…

Just typing them now calms my own soul, for they are ever true.

When questions continued, he spoke plainly:

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…I am in the Father, and the Father is in me. 

Then he told them that anyone who has faith in him will do even great things, because he was going to the Father. All they had to do was ask in his name, in order to bring glory to the Father.

Ah, there’s the rub. We can ask anything, but it must be in his name. This brings back memories of childhood.

“Mom, I want to go to my friend’s house,” I say.

“Did your father say it was alright?” she questions.

“I’m sure he wouldn’t mind….” comes the soft reply.

“You go ask him, and then come back and tell me what he said.”

That’s the problem. I knew my dad had already said no. He wanted me to help my sister clean our room. I just didn’t want to admit that I already knew the answer.

Things haven’t changed much.

If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.

How many times have I found myself praying, yet praying, not according to God’s will, but my own. Jesus said when we ask in his name, the Son brings glory to the Father. How can I put Jesus’ name on the end of a prayer that I know does not please him, much less bring him glory?

How many times in history has a person assumed a false identity in order to get away with a crime? When I pray in Jesus’ name, I better be sure that I’m asking according to his will and for something that brings him glory. If not, my prayers are falling on deaf ears, and I lose the blessing of receiving that for which I ask.

Times today are no less confusing and dangerous than they were in those of the disciples, but take comfort in this: Jesus Christ is there for us and worthy of our trust. He’s ready to answer our prayers, and do amazing and marvelous things through us, when we are willing to ask in his name and to his glory.

I want to change my wrong prayers to right. What about you?

 


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