Jesus’ Name; Jesus’ Heart – Br. Curtis Almquist

Br. Curtis Almquist

John 14:7-14

In my childhood and early adolescence I was fascinated by magic and magic tricks. Which also happens to be when I first heard Jesus’ words, “I will do whatever you ask in my name.” It was like my discovering the ultimate magic trick. I started asking away in Jesus’ name about most everything I fancied. Everything. It did not work. Not often. It was sure not anything to depend on. I remember “dropping” this Bible verse like dropping a fad. I only later discovered the context of Jesus’ invitation. It’s not just about asking Jesus; it’s also about naming Jesus.

There is an enormous power in knowing someone’s name and then using it. To know someone’s name gives you an access to their identity and a claim on your relationship. I imagine we all know when that power is misused, when someone “name drops.” When someone feigns to know another person – who they are, what they believe, how they can be accessed. If someone invokes the name of a person, but without the license to use their name, it will backfire, eventually… because the namedropper will eventually be exposed. People will know: the person whose name was invoked would not say that. It is inconsistent or incongruous… and the pretender will be discredited.

Which is the key in claiming Jesus’ invitation that he will give us whatever we ask in his name. We must know Jesus to invoke his name. We must know the mind of Jesus, the heart of Jesus, the words of Jesus to speak in his name. And the purpose, the goal for invoking Jesus’ name, is for one reason only: for the sake of love. It’s to know Jesus’ love and then to love others on behalf of Jesus, to love others in Jesus’ name.  Our asking things of Jesus cannot just be on behalf of our own private self, but on behalf of all whom Jesus claims in relationship.

Our community’s principal founder, Richard Meux Benson, says that all of us are related. Father Benson says, “Your life must be a relative life. The moment you are imprisoned in your own self-consciousness, in your own separate individuality, in the selfishness of your own separate existence, you commit a worse suicide than taking the life of your body.” Father Benson says that we are a relative being, and we have no existence except when we ask and act on behalf of another.[i]

We should take Jesus at his word, to ask away. Jesus assures us, “I will give you whatever you ask in my name….” In my adolescence, the problem was not that I was asking for too much; I was asking for too little. We need to know a great deal about Jesus and the enormity of his love – what Jesus would want for those for whom we pray – and then pray our hearts out. And in our praying, we should presume that Jesus will very likely reciprocate, in asking us, asking you, to be a part of the answer to our prayer.


[i] Quoted from Further Letters of Richard Meux Benson, pp. 36-37; 297.

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1 Comments

  1. Margo on May 2, 2024 at 18:59

    I am praying for those people in Gaza and what they are enduring.

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