What Jesus said in John 14:13-14 is hard for people to understand, yet believe. Jesus promises that he would answer our prayers no matter how great the request. This is not a blank check to satisfy our whimsical desires. There are parameters around Jesus’ promise from parallel passages.
We must ask:
- in faith (Matthew 21:22)
- in agreement with other believers (Mt. 18:19)
- in Jesus’ name (John 14:13-16; 16:23-26)
- according to His will (1 John 5:14-15)
- while obeying His word (Jn. 15:7; 1 Jn. 3:22)
- and bearing fruit for Him (Jn. 15:16).
The promise does not apply where we ask selfishly or with the wrong motives (Mark 10:35; James 4:2-3).
So what shall we request?
Jesus told us to ask for at least three things:
- The Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13)
- Workers in the harvest (Mt. 9:38)
- and wisdom (James 1:5).
Our greatest error is not that we ask inappropriately or that we ask for the wrong things, but that we don’t ask at all (Luke 11:9; Ephesians 3:20).