God’s Outrageous Gifts


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Bible Reading: John 14:12-14

You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. John 14:13

Michael nudges himself over the edge of the steep hill. Dear God, he prays as his snowboard gains speed, help me pull off this blindfolded, double-flip, 360-degree-spin so everyone watching will think I’m cool.

Ashley lays her hand on the multiplication drill she just completed. Closing her eyes, she prays, God, I don’t expect a perfect paper. But please make enough answers right so I don’t have to take the test again.

What’s the most outrageous thing you have ever asked from God? Have you asked for a twenty-pound sack of money to drop from the sky into your lap? for a dog to appear under the Christmas tree? for that terrible haircut you got to miracu­lously grow out before anyone sees you?

Jesus said we can ask him for anything. Hear it again: He said anything!

Could Jesus really mean that? What do you think? Take a minute or two to ex­plain what you think he meant.

John 14:13 says Jesus wants to help us show off God’s greatness. Here’s how:

Your prayer for anything in Jesus’ name + Jesus’ perfect answer to your prayer = Glory to the Father

Notice what happens when we pray: When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are say­ing we want our requests answered the way Jesus knows is best. Since Jesus always knows what will show God’s “glory” (what will bring him honor for his great wis­dom, power, and love), we always get the perfect answer. That perfect answer helps us, and it brings God the praise he deserves.

Think about how that works in real life. We might ask Jesus to miraculously make all our wrong test answers right. But he knows we could grow more and bring greater glory to God if he helped us become strong and smart by studying hard. So he might not bail us out of a bad grade, but our prayer allows him to do what is best for us.

So go ahead-ask for anything. But ask in Jesus’ name. Allow Jesus to decide the best way to respond. If you don’t get the exact anything you pray for, it’s because Jesus knows a better way to give God glory through you.

TALK: How do you like the idea that God always wants to do the best thing for you? And that his best answer to your prayers brings him glory by showing off his greatness?

PRAY: God, it’s a privilege to be able to ask for what we want—and also to know you will answer our prayers in ways that grow us and give glory to you.

ACT: Create a sign for your refrigerator that says, “We want God’s best!”


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