John 16:23-24 – “In that day you will ask me no questions. Most certainly I tell you, whatever you may 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 made full.
Jesus speaks to His disciples of a day in which they will be able to talk directly to the Father in Jesus name. Up to that time there wasn’t direct access to God. Mankind is not able to come before God because he is separated from God by sin at birth. The Jews had priests who performed sacrifices that made them prepared to go into God’s presence on behalf of the people. It’s true that people did pray to God, but they were required to have priests that went between them and God in order to gain a deeper access to Him.
Now that we are in Christ, we now have the ability to come directly to the Father and ask in Jesus name and expect to receive what we ask for.
It says here that if you ask, that He will give it to you. We know from other places that if we ask with the wrong motives it will not be given to us, so it is assumed here that Jesus is talking about asking with the right motives. The problem is that often we don’t even ask!
Now you can understand why it is so wrong for governments to demand that pastors not pray in Jesus name. Praying in Jesus name is the way to actually expect to receive what you ask for. If someone forces us to not pray in Jesus name they are forcing our prayers to become ineffective. I believe that we should pray that governments will not do this and we should ask in Jesus name!
It really shouldn’t have to be said, but if we ask, we will be happy when we get what we ask for. It is very common for us to want to do everything by ourselves. We don’t ask because we are not willing to really depend on another person. Sometimes we ask because we want to use what we get to not depend on Him. I don’t think that the Father, who loves us would let that happen. I believe He wants us to keep depending on Him, to keep asking and keep being happy.