Ask, using my name, and you will receive
John 16:24 Do you have enough faith to ask God for something in Jesus’ name, and know for certain that you will receive it?
“You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.”
John 16:24 NLT
Do you have enough faith to ask God for something in Jesus’ name, and know for certain that you will receive it?
In this part of the Gospel of John, Jesus is giving the disciples his last instruction before His betrayal, suffering, and crucifixion. He warns them of their coming persecution by both Jew and Gentile so that they won’t be surprised by the hatred with which the Good News will be received. Jesus then goes into more detail about His upcoming departure from the disciples, explaining that it will be a cause for joy and not for sorrow, to their advantage instead of to their loss.
If they had known what Jesus was about to go through, the disciples probably would have questioned His sanity! But during these last lessons, Jesus is impressing on their minds that joy in spite of adversity is part of what is different about being one of His followers.
The most important lesson was that His departure was to be followed by the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Scottish Biblical scholar Marcus Dods explains the importance of Jesus’ death as follows:
“The withdrawal of the bodily presence of Christ was the essential condition of His universal spiritual presence.”
John 16 is the first time Jesus mentions the “Advocate” or “Helper”, so He provides a hint of what the Holy Spirit will bring to believers. Ask in his name and in full faith as a follower of Jesus Christ, and you will receive. In turn, receiving His blessings is a cause for “abundant joy”.
As I’ve grown in faith as a Christian, my personal store of testimonies of God’s love has also grown. I’ve mentioned my personal physical healing of lifelong neck and back pain through hands-on prayer from others in Jesus’ name, something that has made my life much more joyful!
In the past few days I’ve had nearly two years of prayer answered with the reestablishment of a relationship with a loved one. It happened in a way that can only be explained by God answering my repeated and heartfelt prayers, and I “have abundant joy”!
I’ll end with the question that I began today’s devotional with: Do you have enough faith to ask God for something in Jesus’ name, and know for certain that you will receive it? Only you can answer that question and act on it.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Father in Heaven, I come to You today with gratitude for everything You’ve done for me during my life. When I ask you in the name of the Son for help for myself, my loved ones, and others I may never know, I am assured that You will hear my prayer and respond. That is reason enough for me to experience Your joy and love, each and every day. Thank You for prayers answered and prayers yet to come, AMEN.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Dods, Marcus "The Gospel of St. John: The Expositor's Greek Testament" Volume 1, Section 2 (John) (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1897)
Hi, Jon! Thanks for the comment, and I agree with you that a lot of people tend to use the “In Jesus’ Name” suffix on prayers almost as if it were a magic spell: “Say these words and watch the amazing result!”. Pastor Roger Barrier at Crosswalk.com had a great response to this:
“Praying in Jesus’ name means praying with His authority and asking God the Father to act upon our prayers because we come in the name of His Son, Jesus. Praying in Jesus’ name means praying in line with the will of God (1 John 5:14-15).”
For me, this makes sense - when I pray in Jesus’ name, it’s not going to be for frivolous things (“O Lord Won’t You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz”). It’s going to be for healing of a close friend or loved one, resolving issues that are being ignored, and other critical things that require divine intervention. And it’s not going to be “Hey, God, stop the Ukraine war in the name of Jesus, amen.”
Although some would scoff that prayer needs to be “heartfelt”, it MUST be done in truth and sincerity, and with full faith in the Trinity. Any other prayer — even if followed by the “magic words” — is strictly mumbled words.
What’s your take on it, Jon?
Thanks for that Steve. For me one of the great lessons in life is found in James' 'You have not because you ask not.' In Isaiah 8 the king of Judah, I think Remaliah but I am not looking it up, is promised deliverance from the Lord and told to ask for a sign. He refuses, I think because he already had his own plans to deal with the enemy and didn't really want the Lord's help. Isaiah gets crazy mad and tells him that he is wearing out the Lord's patience. All because the Lord wanted to give him something and he wouldn't be part of it. Of course, the Lord responded by promising to send Immanuel. His response to our failures is always shockingly gracious.
I was curious what you understand by asking 'in Jesus' name'. It can't simply be tacking those words on to your request, but I have never satisfied myself what exactly it does mean. Any thoughts?