GUARANTEED ANSWERS TO PRAYER
“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it.” (v.13, 14)
This undertaking given by Jesus, to do anything that is asked in his name, is huge. To underline the importance of it he repeats his promise to do anything that is asked in his name. The ramifications of this statement are massive, yet in the experience of many Christians there is a colossal credibility gap between what Jesus promises and our life experience. How many people can really say that they know what it is to ask something of Jesus, and to see it accomplished? How many of us can match the answer exactly to the prayer that we have prayed? How many times do we settle for a compromise and our hearts are disappointed? If the words that Jesus says are really true in our experience we would be overwhelmed and overjoyed. If we promise others that they would receive exactly what they ask for in his name, how easy it would be to lead them to Christ. So what is the problem? How do we close this credibility gap?
The effectiveness of requesting and getting positive results is, without exception, conditional upon one thing. Asking in his name. Asking in his name is an ironclad guarantee of getting him to do it.
As you and I well know, there is no phrase which has been used more than, “…and we ask this in the name of Jesus.” It is the most repeated phrase in Christendom. Yet the evidence of ‘anything’ being done in answer to requests in Jesus’ name is not really there to prove it.
What then is asking “in my name?” What does it really mean to ask in the name of Jesus? It cannot be, and clearly is not, a formula or a mantra. Yes, we have all be patronised by the ‘wise’ who tell us that we must ask “within the perfect will of God.” But what is the perfect will of God? Why is it so elusive? In my own life I have been deeply frustrated because I could never find the perfect will of God enough to have my prayers answered. I asked for many things ‘in Jesus’ name’ but did not receive definitive answers. However, my experience has changed. I am now living increasingly of getting what I ask for. What has changed?
Asking in Jesus’ name and receiving answers is for one purpose. It is for the purpose that the Father may be glorified in the Son. This promise of Jesus to his disciples is to give inarguable proof that the Father is just like Jesus. The disciples need to know that the Father is exactly who Jesus claims. Is Jesus in the Father, and is the Father in Jesus? Here is how it can be proved, by getting whatever we ask for.
When we begin to receive revelation that connects Jesus to the Father, we will come to the reality of seeing prayer answered. The whole purpose of Jesus’ life, on earth and in eternity, is to reveal the Father. He lives to reconnect us to the Father. When we look to Jesus as the Way to the Father, Jesus will give us what we ask him. Why? Because he wants to reveal to us that the Father is a kind and generous Parent who loves us eternally in our humanity. Jesus’ mandate is to reveal a compassionate Father to us. This undertaking to ask whatever we wish and it will be done for us will be repeated again, to give us confidence that the Father is just like Jesus. I have met so many people who live in a ‘Jesus only’ Christianity, with no revelation of the Father, and who prayed futilely in the name of Jesus. Once they began to connect Jesus back to the Father, answered prayer began to flow. The barren tree of praying began to produce abundant fruit. This is because the Father is to be glorified in the Son.
The principle of flow and generosity in the universe comes from a Father who is a loving and compassionate Source. When we pray in Jesus’ name but have a dissonance in our hearts as regards the Father, we cannot receive answers to prayer. Praying without a revelation of the Father cannot access the generosity that flows from heaven. Praying without a revelation of the Father is the prayer of a servant-orphan and there are no guarantees of getting exactly what we ask for. Disconnecting Jesus and the Father actually short-circuits the flow of blessing that is available to us.
Jesus answers prayer in order to manifest the Father. My counsel to you, my reader, is this; make request of Jesus on the basis of him revealing the Father to you. I am willing to wager that you will see increasing evidence of answered prayer in your life.