Philip says an incredulous thing to Jesus, “Show us the Father.” Jesus was surprised because he had spent three years with the disciples yet they still seemed to only know him superficially. He had taught them, “The Father and I are one (the number one, the same thing).” (John 10:30) If you know Jesus, you know the Father. So for Philip to ask to see the Father, well, it meant that he really hadn’t been seeing Jesus. Philip had a problem and we all have the same problem sometimes.
We hang out with Jesus but we really don’t know him. When we don’t know him, we miss the whole point of life with Christ. We bang around life, struggling and not really coping very well, simply because we haven’t become close to Him. When Jesus said “You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it” so that the Father might be glorified, it only makes sense when we realize that we have to first know Jesus and know the Father for that to all work.
Know Jesus and you will be able to ask for anything. But all too often it seems prayer doesn’t work. James said, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives.” (James 4:3) When we know Jesus, we will ask with right motives because we will be asking according to what the Father wishes. Paul tells the Philipians that Jesus did not consider being God something to take advantage of (see NIV for best translation here) but humbled himself, even to die for us. Paul says, we need to have that same mindset. Not easy, but, when we continue to move towards God, to the center of His kingdom, we will know Jesus better and better and hand in hand the Father. Then we can cope with what the world throws at us because we know the Father knows what we need and they will be given to us.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. …Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? …Your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. -Luke 12:22-31