The discussion of Jesus with His disciples continues today and centers mainly on the need to ask, how to ask and why we must ask. Jesus assures us that we shall receive if we ask in His name.
Many of us have lost faith in God. One of the reasons is because they feel they waste time asking or they asked but because they want it fast and it does not come the way they want, they lose faith.
Some people because what they are asking is not forthcoming, lose patience and faith then try to find a shortcut.
Today, Jesus begins with the statement “very truly” which also means certainly, or surely, undoubtedly etc. In this gospel, it is like Jesus giving us the real secret and shortcut.
It is either we do not ask at all as John 16:24 says or we do not know how to ask. Sometimes, it can also be that what we ask is not according to God’s will. It may even be that God is answering your prayers but you are yet to act.
Sometimes, it could be that the prayer must have been answered but waiting for God’s time to be accomplished.
Many people are also afraid to ask because they have concluded already that God can never answer their prayers.
What it means To Ask In His Name.
1 . Jesus says truly I tell you, if you ask anything in my name He will give it to you. The first thing is that this promise is assured. There is no debate about it, but the problem is that we misunderstand what it means to ask in His name.
Asking in His name is not shouting “in the name of Jesus”. It is not a magical word nor a mantra to get what you want.
To ask in His name requires not just mentioning it but believing totally in the power of the Name. It involves immersing ourselves in His presence in an intimate relationship. Praying in the name of Jesus is acknowledging His presence that He is with you while you pray.
We cannot go in the presence of God and feel we are wasting time then expect a miracle to happen. Praying in the name of Jesus means being connected to Him in a bond and loving relationship.
Jesus says in John 14:23 “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him”. We need to create a loving relationship with Jesus.
John says in 1 John 3: 20–24: Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God and receive from Him whatever we ask because we keep His commandments and do what pleases Him.
The Father Loves you
Secondly, there are also times we feel God is not answering our prayers because He hates us. Many Christians go with this mentality that God has a case with them. Today Jesus shares a hard truth for you and me. The truth is that God the Father loves you, and if we are loved by God, He is ready to do anything for us once it is according to His will.
In the gospel, Jesus says “God the Father loves you for loving me”. Thereby God’s love to us increases when we become close to Jesus and love Him from the deepest part of our hearts.
Our problem is that we want God to do our will and not His will. While Jesus was teaching His apostles how to pray, He says ” God your will be done on earth ” ( Mathew 6:10).
At Gethsemane, He prayed three times and asked for God’s will to be done ( Mathew 26:42). This is when we pray knowing deeply that the Father loves us. And allow Him to take control.
This is when we bring our concerns to the Father without dictating to Him how He is going to solve them.
Asking according to His will is when we let God know our needs and allow Him to do it in the best way possible. This is when we place everything in His loving care and leave them there. This is when we let go of our selfish desires and allow God’s will to take precedence. Yes, we have asked but it must not come the way we want.
The problem we have in asking is putting our desires at the utmost and trying to push or force God to answer prayers the way we want.
James 4:3 says ” you ask but do not receive because you ask with wrong motives. In essence, we have to ask but trusting deeply in God’s unconditional love for us.
We shall receive if We Ask.
In today’s gospel, Jesus promises His disciples “Ask and you will receive”. Jesus awaits our asking. Full-hearted asking of God always brings a gift in return.
It may be a specific grace or petition we ask for, or it may be simply the deep support from God that enables us to cope and to grow even when life is difficult.
God is so loving that there is nothing that God will not grant us if it is for our good and the good of humanity. And not out of selfishness, faithlessness, jealousy and hatred.
When we ask often in prayer, sometimes God answers the prayer very directly. But when this appears not to happen, it does not mean that you are wasting your time. The voice of prayer is never silent. We shall surely receive if we ask.
The true gift of prayer is always that bond we have created with Jesus and the Father and the Father’s love given to us no matter what we ask for.
So, do not think that your prayer is a waste, no. We shall receive if we ask with love and sincere trust in God. Jesus wants us to relate to Him like someone we truly love. Then our prayer life becomes a hobby.
We shall receive if we ask in faith, believing He can do all things despite the trouble and challenges. In Hebrews 11:6, God says “whoever comes In His presence must first of all believe that He exists and can do all things. Our faith is very important.
Secondly, We shall receive if we ask according to His will. God knows the best for us. Never get tired of praying and asking. The truth about Prayer is that it gives us the easiest avenue to God’s loving heart.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need ( Heb 4:16).
May God help us to fully understand His ways and May His grace abound in our lives as we approach Him daily. Amen