Making Requests of God

What does it mean to ask in Jesus’ name?

John 14:9-14

Jesus knew the crucifixion was soon, so the Last Supper was an opportunity to impart final words of comfort and wisdom to His disciples. One topic on His mind was prayer. Jesus told His friends, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). What does it mean to ask in Jesus’ name?

First, depend solely on Jesus’ mediation. We became children of God when we acknowledged our helplessness and trusted in Christ’s atoning death on our behalf. He acted as our mediator and reconciled us to the Father (1 Timothy 2:5). If we want to pray for big (or small) things, we must continue in that same spirit of dependence on Christ.

Second, seek Jesus’ ongoing forgiveness. Sin remains in our world and continues to distract us, so we must practice regular repentance when we make mistakes. That means we confess sin to God, turn away from that attitude or behavior, and receive God’s forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9). Then we can approach Him with a clear conscience.

Third, offer a prayer that aligns with God’s word. One way to think of this is to pray something Jesus Himself might ask.

Prayer is most effective when we rely fully on our Savior’s sacrifice and forgiveness and ask in His name. Remember: “Apart from [Him] you can do nothing” (John 15:5), but “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).