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In the Name of Jesus

John 16:23-24

In that day you will not ask Me anything. 

“I assure you: Anything you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name. Ask and you will receive that your joy may be complete.

Does anyone else have a problem with this Scripture? Surely, I’m not the only one who grapples with this one. I’ve asked God for many things that He did not give me, and these verses have left me scratching my head on numerous occasions because this appears to be a promise from Jesus, Himself. I recently asked God to explain this one to me, and He gave me an answer – at least to my own prayers. Perhaps, the answer He gave me will minister to you, as well.

Jesus taught His disciples that He would die, rise again, and return to the Father. In that day, we would be able to ask God the Father anything in His name, and He will give it to us. He encouraged us to ask and receive that our joy may be complete. To ask in His name is to approach God as our loving Father based upon the relationship we have with Him through His Son, Jesus. We have no basis for approaching God in our own merit but by faith in the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. In other words, we have no right to ask God for anything, but because of our faith in Christ and what Christ did for us, we have grace to come before God and ask for anything – not because we deserve it but because of His great love for us as our heavenly Father. 

As I began to think of my most recent series of denied requests, all the feelings I’d experienced came flooding to my memory. “I deserved it. I’d worked hard for it. It wasn’t fair. It was unjust.” I quickly realized I had tried to approach God by asking in my own merit. Just tagging Jesus’ name on the end of a prayer does not ask in His name. I was literally asking for things I thought I deserved based upon my works, which are as filthy rags before the Father. 

To ask for something in Jesus’ name is to ask for something we don’t deserve, and we know it. In reality, it is much harder to do than we realize because we have to admit our own failure, our own weakness, our own inability, our own helplessness, our own sin.  It takes a releasing of pride and utter desperation to ask for what we want or need, knowing we are unworthy to receive but having faith in His love for us and being courageous enough to ask anyway. In fact, it is much like a small child coming before a loving Father and asking for something – with complete dependence upon His love and care. 

What would make your joy complete today? For what do you long that you do not deserve? What can you not do for yourself that you desperately need? Where have you tried and failed? In what area are you just not enough? What is just beyond your reach? Where has sin had victory in your life? Where has your pain intensified to the point of making you void of pride? In those areas we may approach the throne of grace and ask our heavenly Father who loves us for anything – in Jesus’ name. 

“Ask and you will receive that your joy may be complete.”   – Jesus.

Have a blessed day!

PHOEBE Connections, Inc. is a 501(c)3 dedicated to enhancing the lives of widows by building relationships and helping them find new identity in Jesus Christ through serving others. We promote an atmosphere of fellowship, where the widow can connect with other widows to develop friendships and supportive relationships.