Saturday 02 September 2017

Bible Book:

“On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” (v. 26)

John 16:25-33 Saturday 2 September 2017

Psalm: Psalm75:1-7


It is a commonplace in Christian prayer to offerpetition or supplication 'in the name of' Jesus. It's so much apart of the fabric of Christian prayer and devotion that it may beless common to pause and reflect on what's implied in that phrase.It might be easy to assume that a prayer 'in Jesus' name' placesJesus in the role of mediator or broker, or a figure of authority,between God and the one who prays: as though a prayer has morechance of being heard because of the relationship between Jesus andthe one who prays.

Jesus' words in verse 26 seem to challenge thatunderstanding: "I do not say to you that I will ask the Father onyour behalf". To pray, to ask something of God, in Jesus' nameisn't to expect that Jesus will then relay that on our behalfbecause of being in a relationship with God that is qualitativelydifferent.

Jesus seems to be explicitly rejecting a linearrelationship from the believer to him and so to the Father:standingbetweenthe believer and God. It may be that we can readthis passage less as an exposition of the mechanics of prayer, andmore as an exploration of the kind of relationship with God thatJesus makes possible for humanity, one that involves being drawn bythe Spirit into the relationship of overflowing love between theFather and the Son as our lives become increasingly identified withJesus' life.

To invoke the name of Jesus may be more aboutseeking increasingly to stand where Jesus stands, in his utteropenness and responsiveness to God. And because of that, to bedrawn to stand where Jesus stands in our world.

To Ponder

  • What difference does it make to you to pray 'in the name of'Jesus?
  • What do the Gospels tell us about where and with whom Jesus'stands' in the world? And what might this mean for hisChurch?
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