“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. Until now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”-John 16:23-24
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with lots of Jesus’s prayer verses. Maybe I don’t understand prayer very well. Jesus promised to answer prayers. I have longings and I ask God to quench them, yet those longings remain. Are my prayers unrighteous or self-centered? I have no doubt that they often are, but I hope it isn’t true of all of my prayers.
What does it mean to “ask in Jesus’s name?” I have talked with people who have treated the phrase, “in Jesus’s name” as a sort of magical incantation, suggesting that if we don’t use those words specifically, God will not hear our prayers. I don’t think that’s true. It has to do with praying in the Spirit of Jesus. When we pray, do we do so with an awareness of the Holy Spirit’s active presence and power in our lives? Attunement to the Spirit may be the heart of prayer.
Jesus, tune my heart to yours. Make me aware that your Spirit resides in me, encourages me, and guides me, so that I may find joy in what truly matters. Amen.