Asking in Jesus’ Name

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Reading the Word

John 16:23–28 (ESV)

23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

Understanding and Applying the Word

This is a passage that is often misunderstood. Many take Jesus’ words in verse 23 to mean that God will give us anything we ask for as long as we do it correctly. This is where the custom of closing our prayers with the phrase “in Jesus’ name” originates. Many will also add that the one praying must have sufficient faith or the prayer will not be effective. Again, this comes from a misunderstanding of this passage.

It is important to notice a couple of things. Jesus already said something very similar in John 15:7, where he said:

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7, ESV)

Notice that the answer to our prayers is tied to our abiding in Jesus. Also, in our passage today, we are told that we must ask “in Jesus’ name.” This does not mean simply throwing a certain phrase onto the end of our prayers. This means that our prayers should be consistent with the will and desires of Jesus. When we take these two passages together, we see that our prayers are answered when we are asking for the things that Jesus desires. When our lives are lived in such a way that our desires and Christ’s desires are the same, we can pray with confidence that God hears and answers our prayers. We can start by asking God to help us to be more like Jesus.

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Abiding in the Love of Christ

John 1512–13 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

John 15:9–17 (ESV)

9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Jesus called on his disciples to “abide in my love.” They were to love as Christ had loved. This meant obedience to Jesus and loving one another. The love of the disciples was to be like that of Jesus, who laid down his life for others. Their love was to be sacrificial. When the disciples lived in this way, they could be sure that whatever they asked the Father in Jesus’ name would be given. This does not mean they would receive anything they wanted, but that prayers “in Jesus’ name” would be given. This type of prayer is one that is consistent with the will and purposes of Christ.

Love for others, especially fellow Christians, is a constant theme throughout the New Testament. We are told that those who love Jesus are also those who love others. Those who love Jesus are those who desire to obey him and the summation of his teaching is to love others just as he has loved us. Too many of us fail to love as we should, instead constantly working to tear down fellow believers so we look better. We are quick to point out faults and slow to offer grace and encouragement. We do this because we fail to love. Let us abide in the love of Jesus and work to love one another.

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