Daily Reading & Meditation

Saturday (May 31): "Ask in Jesus' name, that your joy may be full"

Scripture: John 16:23-28

23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name. 24 Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. 25 "I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;  27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father."

Meditation: Do you pray with confidence to your heavenly Father? Jesus often taught his disciples by way of illustration or parable. Here he speaks not in "figures" (the same word used for parables), but in plain speech. Jesus revealed to them the hidden treasure of the heavenly kingdom and he taught them how to pray to the Father in his name. Now Jesus opens his heart and speaks in the plainest of language: "The Father himself loves you!" How can the disciples be certain of this?

Paul the Apostle states that "All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God" (Romans 8:14). Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus makes it possible for his disciples to have a new relationship as sons and daughters of God the Father (Romans 8:14-17). No one would have dared to call God his or her Father before this! Because of what Jesus has done for us in offering his life for our redemption we now can boldly and confidently pray to God as our Father in heaven. The presence and action of the Holy Spirit within us is living proof of this new relationship with the Father. Paul the Apostles says that "when we cry, ‘Abba! Father!' it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Romans 8:15-16).

We can boldly approach God as our Father and ask him for the things we need. In love he bids us to draw near to his throne of grace and mercy. Do you approach the Father with confidence in his love and with expectant faith in his promise to hear your prayers?

"Heavenly Father, your love knows no bounds and your mercies are new every day. Fill me with gratitude for your countless blessings and draw me near to your throne of grace and mercy. Give me confidence and boldness to pray that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Psalm 47:2-3,7-9

2 For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth.
3 He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.
7 For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!
8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.
9 The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham.  For the shields of the earth belong to God;  he is highly exalted!

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Offer prayers in Christ's name, by Cyril of Alexandria, 376-444 A.D.

"He urges the disciples to seek for spiritual gifts and at the same time gives them confidence that, if they ask for them, they will not fail to obtain them. He adds the word Amen, that he might confirm their belief that if they ask the Father for anything they would receive it from him. He would act as their mediator and make known their request and, being one with the Father, grant it. For this is what he means by 'in my name'” For we cannot draw near to God the Father in any other way than through the Son. For it is by him that we have access in the one Spirit to the Father (Ephesians 2:8). It was because of this that he said, 'I am the door. I am the way. No one comes to the Father but by me' (John 10:7; 14:6). For as the Son is God, he being one with the Father provides good things for his sanctified people and is found to be generous of his wealth to us... Let us then offer our prayers in Christ's name. For in this way, the Father will most readily consent to them and grant his graces to those who seek them, that receiving them we may rejoice." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 11.2)


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author Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word

Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers.
 

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