Name It and Claim It? Not So Fast.

Have you ever heard the phrase “name it and claim it”? It’s the idea that if you pray boldly enough, naming your desires, God is obligated to give you what you ask for. But does the Bible really support this? Let’s take a closer look at John 14:7-15, a passage often used to back up this claim.

In these verses, Jesus makes a remarkable promise: whatever you ask in My name, this I will do (John 14:13). It sounds pretty straightforward, right? But there’s crucial context to consider. Jesus was speaking directly to His apostles, a small group He had invested deeply in. He knew their hearts and that they wouldn’t ask for things outside of His will.

This promise empowered the apostles to continue Jesus’ ministry. This included healing, casting out demons, and performing miracles that would open doors for the preaching and teaching of God’s Word and the continual building up of His Church. It wasn’t a blank check for anyone who prays, but a specific assurance to those who were following Jesus’ example and aligning their desires with His.

So, what does this mean for us today? Here are some key principles:

  • Your requests should glorify God. Before you pray, ask yourself, “Will this bring honor to God or just fulfill my own desires?”
  • Pray according to God’s will. Align your prayers with what you know of God’s character and His plans.
  • Check your motivations. James 4:2-3 warns against asking with selfish motives. Make sure your heart is in the right place.
  • Pray with humility. Don’t demand or declare; approach God with a humble and open heart.

The Bible’s message is richer than a simple “name it and claim it” formula. It’s about a relationship with God, seeking His will, and living a life that reflects His love. When we understand this, we can pray with confidence, knowing that our requests are heard and answered according to His perfect wisdom.