Scripture: John 16:16–24
Key Verse: “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:24)
We all have hopes and dreams. All of us carry around some baggage too—regrets, things we wished had turned out differently. It takes trust to share these regrets with someone. In the Gospel according to John we read that Jesus came to earth to show us he is the Son of God. Before he died, Jesus spent some quality hang-out time with his disciples, his close friends. In John 16, Jesus teaches his friends that prayer involves asking. Like a close friend that wants the best for us, Jesus promises to hear us, to respond to us, and to give us joy when we ask in his name.
When we come in Jesus’s name, it is a sign of humility, recognizing that we have no power on our own. We approach God’s throne in a posture that says, “I believe you will bring this about in my life, and I trust you, Father.” The Bible clearly communicates that God’s will for us is good, pleasing, and perfect. Praying in Jesus’s name helps align our heart to God’s perfect will for our lives and is very different than self-centered praying.
Prayer is also an act of listening. No one likes a friend who only talks and never listens. Sometimes we approach Jesus that way, but he desires conversation. He is always interested in our heart and wants to connect with us. Take time to have a conversation (or chat) with God.
Imagine that Jesus were sitting next to you and wanted to talk. What area of your life would find difficult to open up about with Jesus? How do you think Jesus could make a difference in this area?
Go for a fifteen- or twenty-minute walk in your neighborhood. Leave your headphones at home to keep you free distractions. As you walk, imagine Jesus walking with you. Ask him about things you see, things you’re going through, things that trouble you. Ask him for things you need, believing that he knows these things, too. Maybe your parent is deployed, or maybe you’re having a hard time with friends. Invite him into your hopes and your dreams, your regrets and disappointments. Lastly, remember to pray in the power of Jesus’s name!
Lord, I thank you for being a friend to me. I ask you to help me move forward, leaving behind the disappointments and regrets of the past. I trust that you are able to handle all my cares through the power of your name, Jesus. Amen.