[Jesus said,] “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Maybe you have heard stories about genies. Genies are imaginary beings that can live in a lamp or a bottle, and when the bottle is rubbed, the genie comes out to grant wishes.
At first, Jesus’ words “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” may sound like the words of a genie.
But Jesus isn’t talking about granting any wish we might have. As the apostle John explains in our Bible reading for today, what we pray for should be in line with God’s will.
And how do we know what God’s will is? We learn about God’s will through reading and studying his Word. Prayer, in fact, goes hand in hand with knowing God’s Word and will. As God reveals himself to us in his Word, we naturally grow in love for God and in our desire to serve him and others.
For example, we know that God calls us to love our neighbors, to care about their well-being, and to live peaceably with justice for all people. So we must pray (and work) for just and fair policies so that people everywhere may have good food and housing and safety, that they may learn and grow and flourish as God intends.
There’s nothing magical about prayer. Prayers based on the foundation of God’s Word put us in the position of wanting what God wants and seeking his kingdom. And we can be assured that God answers these prayers as we ask them in Jesus’ name.
Father, lead us by your Word and Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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