The Day Prayer Changed

The time for talking is almost over. As we’ve walked through these last chapters of John’s gospel each Friday, we’re getting ever closer to the day when no one speaks. For today, however, we’re pressing on in John 16, and Jesus is telling his disciples about a new reality to come. Let’s take a listen:

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. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

John 16:23-27 (NIV)

They’d been peppering him with questions, but now Jesus says a day is coming when all questions will end. Post-resurrection and after the Holy Spirit’s arrival, so much of what he’s been saying and teaching will become clear to his followers. A big lightbulb (or candle, since it’s 2,000 years ago) will go off in their minds.

That’s when questions will turn to requests.

Confident of who Christ is and firm in their faith, the disciples’ relationship to God will change. Now they will have a name through which to connect directly with the Father–that name is Jesus, and with that name comes power.

Until this point in their relationship, they haven’t used it, but he’s pre-approving their ability to do so. When they do ask and receive, they will experience such joy, because they’ll realize that Jesus really hasn’t left them. No, he’s still with them through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit while also standing at the right hand of the throne of God, interceding on their behalf. What a marvelous mystery revealed.

With the Spirit, Christ’s words are understood–made plain to those who cling to him.

I love this cool statement by Jesus: “I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.” What does that mean? It means, they have a direct line to God himself. The Spirit is the switchboard operator, the name of Jesus puts the call through.

Because we love and believe in Christ, we never lose connection.

Prayer was forever changed because of the name of the One who died for our sins, rose from the dead, and will return again.

Just wait until next week to see what the disciples thought about that! I know what I think, what about you?

Grace and Peace

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