Someone exclaims with enthusiasm that they have found an amazing promise in the Bible. People gather around and they are all waiting with anticipation. The excitable messenger announces, “the Father will give you whatever you ask…” So, everyone, get going and get asking!

Some drop to their knees and begin to pray. Others grab a friend or two, hold hands, and entreat the Father in heaven together. Others race home to tell loved ones about this new discovery.

Days or weeks or months later disappointed people move in and out of Christian gatherings. “You get any answers to your prayers?” “Me neither.” “So disappointing.” “But, it was a quote right out of the Bible, wasn’t it?” “Hey, Charlie, read that verse to us again.”

But, John is saying that the “ask” is supposed to be done in Jesus’ name. I didn’t hear that the first time. What does that mean?

Just as a the sheriff in an old Western shouts at bank robbers, “Stop in the name of the Law!” The Sheriff is not the embodiment of the whole legal code. However, he is representing the citizens of the community who have adopted the law.

Similarly, we are to pray in Christ’s name. That is, we come to the Father asking for what Jesus would be asking. It is not a Bible promise that we will be given whatever we want, instead, it is we participate in asking God for what his Son would want. That is a guarantee that these prayers will be answered. Ah! Jn15