“This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!
“I’ve used figures of speech in telling you these things. Soon I’ll drop the figures and tell you about the Father in plain language. Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I’ve revealed to you. I won’t continue making requests of the Father on your behalf. I won’t need to. Because you’ve gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly. First, I left the Father and arrived in the world; now I leave the world and travel to the Father. (John 16:23-28)
When we pray, who are we really talking to? It’s not Jesus. We don’t actually ask Jesus for anything. Instead, we ask his father. In essence, we’re telling the Father that “Jesus sent me and said you’d do this.” And why do we ask for things from God? Jesus said so we can be completely happy. And it’s not that by invoking Jesus’ name that somehow Jesus then intercedes on our behalf with a reluctant deity. God is not reluctant. Jesus wants us to understand that God loves us as much as he loves Jesus.
God knows what we really want and he knows what we really need. Too often, we don’t actually know what we want or need. We may think we do. But chances are, we’re missing the big picture and are not asking for as much as God wants to give us.
We want a job, for instance, but what we really need is food and clothing and our expenses taken care of. A job may be the way to do it, but God knows the root cause of what we’re asking for and will satisfy that need, rather than giving us what we think will satisfy that need. We’re only human. God knows us better than we know ourselves. Don’t doubt that God has the best of intentions for us; but it’s not just all about us. There’s a whole world interconnected to us as well, and many people involved in the project.