The Ground of Successful Prayer
John 16:24
Till now have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.

The presence of the Lord Jesus in the land of his sojourn during his incarnate life made a great difference to many dwellers in that land. It made a great deal of difference in point of resource and hope to all suffering from afflicted bodies. And thus also Jesus brought a great change in the region of religious need and duty. He did not come into the midst of a laud all unused to prayer. The quality of the prayer may have been very defective, but there is no reason to doubt that the quantity would be great. And now Jesus comes to make a difference, an abiding difference, in prayer. To pray with a knowledge of Jesus in our minds, and yet without the constant thought of him mingling in every element of the prayer, is really not to ]pray at all.

I. OBSERVE EXACTLY WHAT JESUS HERE SPEAKS ABOUT. He is dealing with a part of prayer - the petitionary part, the part where need should be deeply felt and clearly expressed. And yet, after all, in what part of prayer can the sense of need be absent? For instance, it will not be pretended that it is an easy thing to give adequate utterance to adoration. As we go on in the spiritual life, we shall more and more feel that all true prayer, from the very beginning to the end, has asking lying under it. Though there be not always petitionary form, there will be petitionary reality. The spiritual man is not one whit less needy than the natural man. The further he advances, the more do his own needs and the needs of the world press upon him. Left to himself, he is very likely to become confused among a multitude of perplexing thoughts. Now, here is a recommendation and promise of Jesus which most assuredly will simplify and concentrate prayer.

II. WHAT IT IS TO PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS. No particular name can be said here to be meant. All the names are needed, and even then there is not enough to indicate the fullness of the person named. We must get underneath names to things. Asking in the Name of Jesus means fundamentally asking in connection with him. Think of yourself habitually as the servant of Jesus, bound to attend to his interests, bound to consult his wishes, hound to carry out his purposes, and then you will get wonderful light as to what things you should pray for, and wonderful help in making them really subjects of prayer. A banker honors immediately all checks that a servant presents signed by his master. The self-willed and the self-indulgent cannot truly pray; their cry may be genuine and intense enough; but it is only the cry of exasperation and disappointment. No prayer is worth the breath it is uttered with that leaves the Lordship of Jesus out of the question.

III. THERE MUST BE A REAL CONNECTION WITH JESUS. It will never do to go by our own notions of what Jesus wants. There is such a thing as unwittingly presenting forged checks at the bank of heaven. Each of us must be like a hand of the living Jesus, in immediate and flexible connection with his will. We must be really at his disposal, ready and ready ever for the doing of his will and his will only. There must come a time in the history of the heart when everything less than the truth as it is in Jesus will fail to command us. - Y.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

WEB: Until now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.

What that Day Wilt Bring Forth
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