“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask for anything in My name, and I will do it.” - John 14:12-14
There are three words contained in Jesus’ promise that are the key to unlocking the meaning of this passage – “In My name.” Our selfishness apart from Christ zeroes in on “whatever you ask” and “ask for anything;” skipping right over the heart of Christ’s promise – the glory of His Father.
Jesus does not promise to do anything we ask. He promises to do anything asked for in His Name. Why? It is because such requests are guaranteed to bring glory to the Father. So how do we know if we are asking for something in Christ’s name? Doing so means more than just adding, “In Jesus’ Name” at the end of our prayers. Christ’s name is used for everything that His name covers…His authority, His interests, His pleasure, His excellence and His deeds. Therefore, anything we ask for in His name will align with His will. In this context, the passage can be interpreted and applied correctly.
Of course Jesus would promise to grant any requests that are in accordance with His will, because such requests, as He explained, will bring honor and glory to His Father. The glory of the Father was always Jesus’ main concern. Even He, God’s very own Son, always prayed according to God’s will. Look at His prayer in the final hours of His life in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Abba, Father,” He said, “everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will (Mark 14:36).”
Father, I want my life to bring glory to Your name. Please show me where my desires and plans do not line up with Your will and change me, Lord. May by prayers be Christ-centered and Spirit-driven. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.