In all honesty, there is no more puzzling verse to me in all the Bible than John 14:14. Speaking to His disciples, Jesus plainly says, “ You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” I am a purist when it comes to the absolute authority of scripture, yet this promise and my personal experience seem incongruous. Some of you, likely most of you, feel the same way. I don’t think this is something we can hydroplane over as believers. Is “praying in Jesus name” a blank check? Clearly not. I have prayed in Jesus name for virtually everything in my life. I have seen Him answer those prayers in miraculous fashion and I have felt as though some of them fell on deaf ears; but always in Jesus’ name.
Praying in His name essentially means praying in His authority, standing in His righteousness not your own, praying in and through His nature and character as the risen Son of God. So, what about those prayers in His name that go seemingly unanswered? Did I somehow not jump through the “in His name” hoop correctly or is there a deeper mystery in play? I believe it is the latter of the two. I must.
This side of heaven we cannot untangle the complexities of the fall, we cannot fully discern what is best for us and for those we love. Yet we can trust that Jesus can and will work all things together for our good, even when we miss the mark. Is that not why He came? So, I believe with all my heart that when we ask Jesus for anything, he will do it. But I also believe that we “see through a glass stained darkly” and from that limited perspective we are prone to misunderstand and misinterpret the unraveling of the complexities that ultimately lead to the answering of our prayers. As for me, in the midst of the mystery, I echo the words of the desperate father in Mark 9, “I believe Lord, help my unbelief!”.
Keep on Praying,