John 16:23-24: Standing on the promises.
“23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” NIV
This is a short passage, but one rich in promise. As you meditate on it you will surely become convinced of a number of things:
- Convinced that Jesus wants you to pray: ”This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father…” The Message. In this post-resurrection era, Jesus wants His followers to know that they can ask. Indeed, He positively encourages such asking. Here is a way to please Jesus – pray!
- Convinced that Jesus wants you to pray in His will: ”Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will…” The Message.
- Convinced that the Father is generous: ”…and he’ll most certainly give it to you.” The Message. Jesus taught us to pray, saying, ”Our Father…” We human fathers, even though we are flawed; seriously affected by the sin virus, nevertheless we love to give good gifts to our children. We will give them everything we can so long as we are convinced that it is for their good, and that we can afford it. Just think of the heart of the perfect Heavenly Father towards His own; He who is rich without limitation.
- Convinced that a life of answered prayer is one of overflowing joy: ”Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks.” The Message. Who would not want such flooding, internal joy that bursts out to saturate the external world with all its need? A joyful life is not possible if you are a stranger to prayer. I am persuaded that a faithful, believing, praying life is one of excitement and adventure. Turn your Bible into prayer; let Scripture be the rails upon which the ‘train’ of your prayer life travels, and watch where it leads. But I know the devil will try to tell you that it will be boring. Bishop Ryle, in his book ‘Holiness’, celebrates the proliferation of many large Christian meetings and missions across the country in his day.(He was writing in the late 1800’s). But he gives this warning, that public religion must be accompanied by private religion. There can be a lot of ‘froth and bubble’; much sensationalism and emotionalism surrounding large Christian gatherings. So he writes about the need for Christians to have deep roots in a personal walk with God. Over a hundred years later his clarion call remains relevant: ”The root of a plant or a tree makes no show above ground. If you dig down to it and examine it, it is a poor, dirty, coarse-looking thing, and not nearly so beautiful to the eye as the fruit, or leaf, or flower. But that despised root, nevertheless, is the true source of all the life, health, vigour and fertility which your eyes see, and without it the plant or tree would soon die.” Bishop J.C. Ryle, ‘Holiness’, p.305.
PRAYER: Lord please enable me to live a life deeply rooted in you.