The Call to Pray

Anything?

Jesus said, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son…You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:13-14

If you could have three wishes fulfilled, what would you wish for? You may be reluctant to make three wishes if you remember the folktales about people whose third wish was to undo the first two wishes that hadn’t turned out as they’d expected.

But Jesus told His disciples in the Upper Room three times to ask Him for anything and He would do it (John 14:13, 15:16, and 16:23-26). What was condition of His promise? He’d do anything they asked “in My name.” This would include anything they did as His deputies, anything He’d authorized, anything He’d told them to do.

Jesus said the disciples would do even greater things than the works they’d seen Him do because he was going to the Father (v. 12). Jesus had raised the dead! How could the disciples’ works be greater than that?

Their works would be greater only in the sense that their works represented the actions of many people over thousands of years (so far) rather than Jesus’ acts over the three years of His earthly ministry. They would be His hands and feet on earth during His absence.

Jesus also told them to wait in Jerusalem for God to send the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). They waited and prayed. On Pentecost, God poured out the Holy Spirit, and three thousand were added to the number of Jesus’ followers (Acts 2:1-41).

Later, Peter and John went up to the temple at the time of prayer, and they prayed for a man who had been lame for forty years (Acts 4:22). He’d been carried to the temple gate every day to beg (Acts 3:2). Peter said to him, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” And the man did walk. In fact, he walked into the temple courts and began “jumping and praising God” (Acts 3:6-8).

Peter boldly explained, “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see” (Acts 3:16).

How’s your faith? Do you boldly pray for things in the name of Jesus? Anything?

 DIG DEEPER:

Read Genesis 3:1-6. What three wishes did the serpent imply he would fulfill for Adam and Eve? What happened with each wish? See Genesis 3:7-24, 4:8, and 5:5.

According to John 15:14-17, what did Jesus expect to see as the result of the disciples’ prayers?

What were some other results of the disciples’ prayers? See Acts 5:12-16. What has God appointed you to do in the name of Jesus?

Nancy J. Baker

This devotion is part of an Easter series: The Upper Room Teachings under Dig into Easter.

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