More action and adventure from Acts today. Paul and Barnabas get booted out of Antioch by some Jews who didn’t agree with their preaching. So the pair “shook the dust from their feet in protest against them.” In the Gospel from John 14, Jesus says to the disciples, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do.”
On the surface, this sounds like a pretty attractive offer, doesn’t it? I mean, come on, Jesus! ANYTHING? These words of Jesus have perhaps been more abused than any other. How about those lottery numbers, Jesus? Please cure my child of cancer, Jesus! Many people may see these words, say a prayer in the name of Jesus and then, when their prayer isn’t answered, they lose faith. Maybe even think Jesus is a liar.
So what about this saying of Jesus? A couple of things come to mind. First of all, Jesus spoke time and again about the need for faith. So, whatever we ask, we must ask in faith. Secondly, I believe that, as we grow in faith and trust, our prayers begin to change. More and more, they will start with, “If it be your will, Father…” Then we ask in the name of Jesus. When we ask for what God wants, instead of what we want, then our prayers will surely be answered.
Father, forgive us for those times when we ask for what we want, without regard for what You want. Help us to always seek that which is in Your will. Amen.