12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
What does Jesus really mean it when he says “anything”?
“Most Christians recognize that we live in what the prophet Zechariah called “the day of small things” (Zech. 4:10). Churches in the West are, by and large, shrinking. The current period of Western history is now referred to as the “post-Christian era.” In a growing climate of religious apathy in which the powers of darkness appear to triumph, how should the church respond? The basic answer to this question is the same as it has been in every age: instead of beginning with what we must do, we must start with what we must believe and what the Lord requires of us. Christian labor must be grounded in Christian faith. Doing great things in the name of Christ stems from faith and obedience, rather than from our best laid plans and endeavors.” Ryan McGraw
 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going.”  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”  Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is 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.  Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
- Same works? Verse 12
- Greater works? Verse 12
- Whatever you ask, I will do? Verse 13 – If you ask me anything in my name I will do it? Verse 14
For clarity, no one can do the work Jesus did on the cross, but Him. He’s the only perfect sacrifice. So what does he mean here? What can be better than Jesus?
Miracles – Jesus heals the blind, the lame, and raises from the dead.
The disciples exorcise demons in Jesus’ name
Peter raises Dorcas in Acts 9
Paul restores Eutychus to life in Acts 20
But, the Apostles are never greater than Jesus Himself. Jesus’ miracles/works are performed to display the power of God and that Jesus is indeed God in the flesh.
This word here though for greater means greater in quality, more important or impressive. So where does that leave us?
“The greater things are connected closely to prayer in the text. A similar pattern in the book of Acts sheds great light on the nature of these greater things. In John, the order of instruction is greater things and prayer; in Acts, the order of activity in the early church is prayer and preaching. Early in Acts, as the church met for corporate prayer (Acts 1:14 with 2:1), the Holy Spirit was poured out, enduing believers with “power from on high” (see Luke 24:49). The result was that when the apostles preached the gospel, three thousand souls were added to the church by baptism in one day (Acts 2:41). When Christ poured out the Holy Spirit from the Father in response to corporate prayer, He gathered more disciples in one day than He had in His entire earthly ministry.
This pattern continues throughout Acts. In chapter 4, the apostles preached and the number of disciples increased to five thousand (Acts 4:4). Later in the same chapter, Peter and John were released from prison under threats not to preach in the name of Jesus any longer (vv. 20-21). The first thing that they did was attend a corporate prayer meeting. Their primary requests were for boldness and to perform apostolic miracles (vv. 29-30). In answer to their prayers, the Lord physically shook the building, the apostles performed miracles, “and they spake the word of God with boldness” (v. 31). This points to the nature of the greater things that Jesus promised in John 14:12. The greater things consist in the Spirit-empowered preaching of the apostles resulting in the conversion of many sinners.
This is not to say that the ministry of the church is greater than the ministry of Christ, but that the ministry of Christ through His church is greater and more effective for salvation than the ministry that He exercised while on earth.”
Whatever you ask? – What does praying in someone’s name really mean?
“The all important phrase “in my name” doesn’t of course, just mean adding “in the name of Jesus” to anything we might think of, however stupid, selfish or hurtful. The “name,” after all, as in many cultures , is supposed to reveal the character.
Praying in Jesus’ name, then, means that, as we get to know who Jesus is, so we find ourselves drawin into his life and love and sense of purpose. We will then begin to see what needs doing, and what we should be aiming at within our sphere of possibilities and what resources we need to do it. When we then ask, it will be “in Jesus’ name” and to his glory; and, through that, to the glory of the Father himself.” – NT Wright
Or maybe you can think of it…to ask something for Jesus’ sake or in a way that brings Glory to God. Everything Jesus did was with the aim of bringing Glory to the Father. If we think of our prayers in that way it might help us.
1 John 5:14-15
 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
Since it’s not a blank check.
How then to pray? Am I limited? Should I feel guilty for praying for a promotion? Should I not ask for this or that?
 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
First pray and don’t stop.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
 pray without ceasing,
Jed Coppenger “Pride doesn’t pray. Pride doesn’t think it needs God’s help. Pride thinks that more will be accomplished today by skipping a time of prayer and starting to do the tasks for the day. Jesus’ emphasis on childlike prayer is a shot to our daily, deadly pride.”
 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
Pray both individually and corporately
So again…what can I pray for or how?
Some prayers are deeply personal
In Psalm 13 David cried, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day?” (Psalm 13:1-2a, CSB).
Other prayers are for a gathered group
After returning from exile and rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, the Israelites gathered and proclaimed in corporate prayer, “Blessed be the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You, Lord, are the only God. You created the heavens, the highest heavens with all their stars, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them, and all the stars of heaven worship you” (Nehemiah 9:5b-6, CSB).
Some are carefully composed
“Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21, CSB).
Others seem more spontaneous
“Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears. Making a vow, she pleaded, ‘Lord of Armies, if you will take notice of your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut’” (1 Samuel 1:10-11, CSB).
Some prayers are cries of longing or agony
“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39b, CSB).
Other prayers are songs of praise
“I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well” (Psalm 139:14, CSB).
Some are confessions of sin
“Ah, Lord—the great and awe-inspiring God who keeps his gracious covenant with those who love him and keep his commands—we have sinned, done wrong, acted wickedly, rebelled, and turned away from your commands and ordinances” (Daniel 9:4b-5, CSB).
Others are intercessions on behalf of others
“I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me (John 17:20-21, CSB).
The great commission….for the world to know Jesus as Savior.
The Great Awakening in America in the 1730s and 1740s had tremendous results. The number of people in the church multiplied, and the lives of the converted manifested true Christian piety. Denominational barriers broke down as Christians of all persuasions worked together in the cause of the gospel. There was a renewed concern with missions, and work among the Indians increased. As more young men prepared for service as Christian ministers, a concern for higher education grew. Princeton, Rutgers, Brown, and Dartmouth universities were all established as a direct result of the Great Awakening. Some have even seen a connection between the Great Awakening and the American Revolution –Christians enjoying spiritual liberty in Christ would come to crave political liberty. The Great Awakening not only revived the American church but reinvigorated American society as well.
The significant working of God during the Great Awakening was far-reaching. Truly converted members now filled the pews. In New England, during the time from 1740 to 1742, memberships increased from 25,000 to 50,000. Hundreds of new churches were formed to accommodate the growth in church-goers. For the first time, the individual colonies had a commonality with the other colonies. They were joined under the banner of Christ. Clearly, their unity gave them strength to face the impending danger of war with England. Not only did the Great Awakening unite the colonies religiously but also politically. After being freed from inner sin, the colonists also sought freedom from external tyrants. The motto of the Revolutionary War was, “No King but King Jesus!”
The faith and prayers of the righteous leaders were the foundation of the Great Awakening. Before a meeting, George Whitefield would spend hours–and sometimes all night–bathing an event in prayers. Fervent church members kept the fires of revival going through their genuine petitions for God’s intervention in the lives of their communities.