John 14:14 “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
In week four of our exploration of Prayer using the Acronym ACTS we move to the aspect of Supplication. Although it is a noun, supplication comes from the Latin verb supplicare, which means "to plead humbly." While a supplication is often thought of as a religious prayer (it is used 60 times in the Bible), it can logically be applied to any situation in which you must entreat someone in power for help or a favour.
Christ wants us to pray, of that, there is no doubt. In Christ’s unbounded love for us, we are invited to pray about anything that pertains to our lives. The word whatever is gloriously ambiguous. Whether it be the struggles of life, long-awaited hopes for the future, or the joys experienced in the moment, Christ calls us to present these things in prayer. To pray about the “whatever” of our lives is to render ourselves open to his Spirit in humble honesty. It is to recognise that the entirety of our lives is lived with Jesus. Nothing is to be withheld.
But what does in mean, “in my name?” The Amplified version of the Bible puts this verse as, “If you ask Me anything in My name [as My representative], I will do it.” A key condition here is asking "in [His] name." To act "in the name of" someone means to invoke their authority and their will, rather than your own. An ambassador who offers an agreement "in the name of the king" is enacting the decision of that king. A police officer who says, "stop, in the name of the law!" is—or should be—acting out the will of the government, not their own opinions.
In fact the following 15th verse helps define the scope of our requests where Jesus says, “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.”
Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time, with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will grant their requests: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us, granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come, life everlasting. Amen