John 14:14


Why does Scripture say " If you ask anything in my name I will do it" yet not all prayers are answered?


Js.42.[3] You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

The promise presupposes that one asks in accord with God’s will and not for self-centered reasons.

God always answers prayer, but sometimes the answer is not yet or no. He does this for our good–for our salvation rather than to satisfy temporal needs, if he deems it necessary.


But that’s not what Scripture says…


I just quoted Scripture. :shrug: We do not take one verse out of context and make it the end all and be all of theological teaching. It is very scriptural that we are to ask in accord with God’s will and not merely because we want what we want. Besides, we do not, as individual believers have the authority to decide what Scripture means or says. That is the responsibility and charism of the Magisterium because Scripture does not stand on its own, but is interpreted within the whole context of Sacred Tradition of which Scripture is but one part.


Ok, thanks.

Anyone else want to chime in?


Nope, he pretty much nailed it. :slight_smile:

Ok, actually, I’ll reference Matthew 9-11 as well.

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him

God WILL give the things we ask for – but the good things. If we ask him for a scorpion, even if we think it’s what is good for us – I don’t think He will comply. He knows what is good for us more than we do. Even seemingly obvious things, like curing illnesses. There could be a reason for it we cannot see.


Just to try to expand a little on what Della was saying about context. If you read the 13 verses before this one I think the context and important point of the passage was Jesus telling the disciples that he and the Father are one.

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.

So in essence I think the point of the John 14 is he and the Father are one and it is OK to pray in Jesus name not that we will get anything we ask for. Other parts of the Bible expand on this and let us know that God will answer our prayers with what is best for us. Which might even be “no”.


Well said guys. Keep up the good work!



The answers above are all excellent. I’ll just add one small observation:

The parallel passage to Matthew 7: 7-11 in the Gospel of Luke reads “give the Holy Spirit” rather than “give good things”.

The dialogue of Christ in John 14-16 all leads up to His declaring that He will send the Spirit, the Paraclete, to guide us into all truth.

So perhaps Christ was referring to the spiritual riches and truths of the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit’s sanctifying action in our lives, in John 14: 14 rather than a literalistic “ask for a Mercedes Benz / Grammy award / date with Harry Potter, and I will give it to you.” Just sayin’. :slight_smile:


Ok, thank you!


Unlike some Protestants, correct?


I guess this should teach me to not get my verses from Facebook, or at least double-check them with my Bible. :o


Well, that and not take someone on Facebook word for anything. Yes?


With regard to that quote, what about all the praying that was done for a former classmate of mine, age 55 or 56, who had myocarditis (sp), and for a month hundreds of people were praying and he got sicker and seeker and died after about a month?


If all they were thinking of was his physical well-being then they weren’t necessarily praying according to God’s will. God is not a slot machine into which we put our prayers and out pops what we wanted. We must always pray that what we desire be in accord with God’s will and our soul’s good because that is what matters to God the most. All of us are going to die, whether we die young or old isn’t the problem, it’s are we ready to die that matters.


It was a group, All Things Bright And Beautiful, not a person. :slight_smile:


Ok, I think I get it. What about certain maladies that can’t be cured like Downs Syndrome, or an arm that wasn’t fully formed at birth? Prayer doesn’t cure those things…


Situations like these are where true faith comes in. We need to keep praying and remind ourselves that everything we have, everything we do, our fears, our joys and even our suffering is done for Christ. St. Paul tells us:

Colossians 1:24
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking[a] in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

Now we both know that there is absolutely nothing lacking in Christ’s afflictions. He is telling us that our sufferings when joined to Christ’s can become something great. Although in this lifetime we might never find out why.

My dad has been through a great deal of suffering the past 18 months. Three failed intestinal surgeries, 65 pounds lighter, rarely ever leaves the house anymore. It’s been a nightmare, most nights I don’t even sleep anymore. Sometimes it is hard to keep going but my faith has never dropped below 75% so far. I’m only human :blush:. However, in the past 18 months I have found some blessings. One day my mother fell apart and was crying and said he has been through so many surgeries in his life and never once had troubles healing from those. That made me wonder if all of the other surgeries were a gift from God. He lifted my father up and healed him quickly when I needed him. Now that I am 46 and able to take care of him my dad has to take on all the redemptive suffering he should have suffered all of those years ago. Don’t know, but some day I will. All of his suffering has also made me rethink my life and slow down. I wasn’t one of those guys that burned the candle at both heck I threw the entire candle into the fire. Maybe he is suffering to save me. Don’t know, but God has a reason for all things. Our job is to have Faith that he is doing what is best for us.

God Bless


I remember being taught that “in my name” (which is included in the above sentence), means according to His Divine Will!

God wills for us only what is good for our sanctification and ultimate salvation. So, we can pray for various types of things, but always say “Your holy will be done”.


I’m sorry about your dad.

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