Day 32 (Thursday, April 11, 2019)
25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father. 26 On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”
‘Why bother with prayer?’ Jesus’ words here lay an important foundation. We have the promise of a better understanding of God because Jesus and his Spirit have now spoken plainly about the Father. Further, we see that our prayers are effective because we can pray in the name of Jesus. We also enjoy a new experience of God because Jesus has opened the way to a new and intimate relationship with his Father – the Father himself loves you.
It is easy to underestimate the significance of these words. We overlook the fact that with the clearer understanding of God from the New Testament, we are much more likely to pray for the things that delight him and that he has promised to give us. Also, we forget that when we pray in the name of Jesus, we are praying to the one who has direct access to God. Further, we forget the privilege we have in speaking to God as Abba, Father. Like children confident in a parent’s love, we can enjoy a vital and personal relationship with the very best, most loving and most powerful of parents in the universe.
In this chapter, Jesus sets out implications of the drama that was about to unfold – his death, his resurrection, his departure and the coming of the Spirit. He wants us to know that if we consider prayer to be useless and a waste of time, we need to think again. If we think that prayer is a waste of breath, then we are living as if Easter and Pentecost had never occurred. We become spiritual paupers when we refuse the riches of God’s promises which are available to us.
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: do not leave us desolate, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to where our Savior Christ has gone before, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for evermore. Amen. (BCP, Sunday after Ascension)
Daily Reading Plan
Read John 16:16-33