[Jesus said] “In that day you will ask nothing of Me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in My Name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in My Name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. 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 of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in My Name, and 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. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”(John 16:23-28 ESV)
Do you remember when you were young and went to visit a friend’s home? Maybe you wanted something—to go swimming, or to stay for dinner. But because you were a guest, not a child of the family, you couldn’t ask for these things directly—you had to ask your friend, and your friend would ask his or her parents on your behalf.
That is the situation the disciples were in when it came to Jesus and God the Father. When they needed something—food, safety, even miracles—they asked Jesus, and they trusted Jesus to ask the Father. They knew that they were guests in God’s home—created people, and sinners at that. But Jesus is God’s Son, so they asked Him to intercede. After all, we all know that God the Father listens to His Son!
And yet, the night before Jesus died on the cross, He told His disciples that it was going to be different in the future. They would no longer be guests in God’s house—through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God would adopt them to be His own children. And as children of God’s family, they could approach the Father directly—as dear children ask their dear father.
Jesus says to the disciples, “In that day you will ask in My Name, and 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.” This is our situation too, for we also believe in Jesus. The Father loves us, and He hears our prayers because we belong to Jesus. We are now God’s children.
So now we make our prayers in Jesus’ name. Many times we use those exact words, “In Jesus’ name we pray,” and that is good, because it reminds us what is happening. And yet whether we say those words or not, every prayer a Christian makes is offered in Jesus’ name, or it is no true prayer at all. Jesus is the way to the Father, and no one comes to the Father except through Him. He has signed our adoption papers in His own blood, and as God’s children, Jesus’ signature is on every prayer we make.
We Pray: Dear Father, thank You for bringing me into Your family through Jesus, Your dear Son. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on May 19, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Tell about one time when you asked for a favor through someone else.
2. Did you get what you asked for? Why or why not?
3. How will you use your privilege as a child of God’s family to help others today?