John 14: verse 14 says, “If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it.”
Some people who take that completely out of context believes that to mean that you can literally ask God for anything, and He’ll give it to you. Other Christians, like I did, believe it to be true, as long as you’re asking God for good and spiritual things.
What does this verse really mean? To find out, we are going to do a deep dive—an in-depth word study about the original Greek words and what they mean here.
First off, what are the key words in this particular verse? Ask is the verb, so that’s one we need to know. Secondly, anything—to give us clarity on what we can ask for and what the definition of that really is. Third would be in—what does it mean to ask in the Lord’s name? Fourth we need to know the definition of the word Name. Why? To gain the full context of what it means to ask for something in God’s Name. Lastly, we need to find the original Greek word for the word do. What exactly will God do if we ask anything in His Name?
Ask comes from the Greek word aiteo, which means to ask, beg, crave, or desire.
Anything comes from the Greek word tis which is a pronoun that means any person or object.
In comes from the Greek word en, which means to give self wholly to.
Name comes from the Greek word onoma, which means literally or figuratively name, authority, or character.
Do comes from the Greek word, poieo, which means to abide, to agree, to appoint, to bring together, to cast out, to cause, without any delay.
So, when you put the words together with their definitions, this verse—“If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it,” literally means:
If any person desires to give themselves wholly to God, to His authority, then He will do it, He will abide with them without delay.
How powerful is that?
I remember how many times I prayed, knowing that it was a good thing and believing God would do it. There’s nothing wrong with praying, asking God for things, or having faith—faith can move mountains, after all—but prayer in reality is about submitting to God’s authority, not our own.
Jesus gave us a prime example. He experienced this too!
Before his crucifixion, Jesus knew what was coming; he knew the agony he was going to have to face, and in the garden of Gethsemene, guess what? He didn’t want to go through with it. He prayed, asking God to take this cup from Him, but then, He followed that up by saying:
“Not my will, but yours be done.”
The state of the world looks bleak right now—the pandemic is still plaguing the world, people are isolated and afraid, riots have left the United States terrified and angry and hurt, and now, a lot of people are hurt by the recent elections and the fraud going on. Biden being President is causing a lot of conservative Christians like me to be afraid for what’s to come. God has told me this week to trust in Him, so I prayed and told Him that I would.
But in the back of my mind, just like any time when a prayer of mine doesn’t get answered, there’s always a little tiny question: why didn’t He answer? Usually, I know the simple answer: that it wasn’t in His plan, but sometimes, I want to know more details—specifically why wasn’t it in His plan?
But the fact is, my life belongs to Him. I, and many other Christians—especially with what’s going on in our world and country today—need to know this simple truth.
It’s not about what we want—it’s about learning to surrender wholly to God’s authority. He knows best. Whoever is President, whatever party is running the country, no matter the riots, whatever pandemic is coming, it’s all under God’s control and for His purpose and we must submit to His authority.
To say, yes, God…. Not our will, but yours be done.