John 14:1-14 (NRSV)
Chapter 14"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. Verse 2In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? Verse 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.
Verse 4And you know the way to the place where I am going." Verse 5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Verse 6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Verse 7If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Verse 8Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Verse 9Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Verse 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Verse 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.
Verse 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Verse 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Verse 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
On occasion I hear someone joyously proclaim, “Our prayers worked!” In other words, they received what they asked for—this time. Jesus says, “If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” But we do not always get what we ask for. We pray for pain to cease, for wars to end, for victory over addiction, for people to turn to Christ, and we don’t see the hoped-for results, even when we ask in Jesus’ name. So what does Jesus mean? I believe Jesus is guiding us to pray from that place of mutual indwelling where our wills are aligned with God in such a way that our prayers become a conduit for God’s love and grace to bear upon whatever situation we lift up. Our prayers are answered in just the way we would ask if we could see what God sees. We are told to pray, so we do, and our prayer makes a difference.
Lord Jesus, take me to yourself so that where you are I may be also. May my prayers for all this broken world come from your heart through mine, bringing healing and wholeness in your name and by your power. Amen.