Pray to the Father in Jesus’ Name
John 16:23, 24
And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name he will give it you.
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
When Jesus spoke these words, He was here on earth. He was talking about the day in which we live.
He had not yet gone to Calvary. He had not died and been buried. He had not risen from the dead. The New Covenant was not in force. His blood had not been carried into the Holy of Holies. (His blood is the seal of the Covenant.)
Man had the promise of redemption, but had not received it. Eternal life had been promised, but had not been provided. None had the New Birth – they only had the promise of it, because the New Birth is available only under the New Covenant.
This New Covenant was prophesied about in the Old Covenant. Under the Old Covenant, men’s hearts never were changed. That’s the reason they kept on sinning. They could not help it.
Some of the greatest saints of the Old Testament sinned. After they were forgiven for one sin, they would commit another. Their natures were all wrong; their hearts were all wrong. They only had a covering for their sins.
But God promised in His Word that He would take that old heart out of us and give us a new one. He said He would put a new spirit in us (Ezek. 1:19). This became available under the New Covenant.
In John 16:23, 24, Jesus told His disciples that after He went to Calvary and was raised from the dead, people were to pray to His Father.
Prayer based on legal grounds should be addressed to the Father in the Name of Jesus. We are not supposed to pray to Jesus. This was His instruction.
The disciples asked Him, while He was here on earth, to teach them to pray. He taught them to say, “Our Father …” We refer to this as the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13), but it is not New Testament prayer.
This prayer didn’t ask a thing in Jesus’ Name; His Name wasn’t even mentioned. This prayer was prayed under the Old Covenant. Under the New Covenant, which was sealed with the precious blood of Jesus, we are to pray to the Father in Jesus’ Name.
Now let us focus our attention on the word “whatsoever” in John 16:23. Often we say we are believing for an answering to prayer “if it is God’s will.” But this verse makes no such condition. On the contrary, it says, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” It must have been His will; otherwise, He wouldn’t have said it!
Why did Jesus say, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you”? The answer is found in verse 24: “…that your joy may be full.”
Our joy certainly can’t be full if we are out of work and our children are hungry. Our joy can’t be full if our bodies are racked with pain. Our joy can’t be full if there are problems in our home.
Jesus said the Father would give us “whatsoever” we ask so our “joy may be full.”
But there is a secret to success with this kind of praying. The key is in the words, “Whatsoever ye shall ASK THE FATHER IN MY NAME …” We are to address our prayers to the Father in the Name of Jesus.
If it is God’s will. Romans 8: says, For we know not what to pray for as we ought …
That is not a broad statement making a Bible precedence for prayer. If it were making a precedence for prayer, there would be mention of it in other parts of the scriptures. But, we do see here a precedence for the reason we need the help of the Holy Spirit.
Paul is speaking of certain times in life when things happen. When we don’t know how to pray, we have the Holy Spirit to pray through us. He will pray the perfect will of God as we pray in the Spirit. This verse introduces the Holy Spirit to us as our helper, our assistant. He’s the One called along our side to help us. Many times we come to a halt when wanting to pray for someone. It may be that they lost a loved one and you want to pray for them in your daily prayer. What can you say? What do you pray? Nothing you say will take away the pain. But if you allow the Holy Spirit to pray through you, the Holy Spirit will pray exactly what that person needs and cause God to comfort that person like no one else can.
If we can never know God’s will, then there is no need in praying.
God is very personal, a very real God, a loving Father that is interested in our well being. He is not playing cat & mouse with us, putting situations in front of us and telling us we have to figure it out on our own. If we hit it, then we are lucky. If we miss it, then, better luck next time. No! We don’t go by luck – if all the cards happen to fall in our favor. We declare the way it will be, and see it happen. God commands us to declare it, and see it happen. Is it God’s will? Yes it is, if it is good.