|"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father
in My name, He will give it you" John 16:23
What liberty is given here, my brethren! " whatsoever!" Were it alone, it would be boundless, and the Lord would thus have opened the door to all the desires of unbroken wills among His people. But He adds, "In My name." This is His limit - that which He sets up.
If we apply to God for anything in the Name of Christ - and He will accept no other - it must needs be in keeping with what Christ is. It is as if Christ Himself were asking it of His Father. He does not want us to make Him the messenger, as if we had not the liberty to approach. We have the same blessed liberty which He has, for grace has made us sons, and we are loved of the Father with the same love wherewith He is loved. He wants us to realize that holy liberty, and go ourselves with our requests straight to the Father in His Name --- that is, as if it were Himself presenting it -He who is always heard, because He always does what is pleasing to the Father.
But then how could Christ present any request to His Father in any thing inconsistent with His own character and ways? -- they were ever within the circle of the Father's will.
To pray in His Name, then, involves our presenting to God only that which Christ could and would present. It calls for a real setting aside of our own wills, and for moving only within the circle of God's will, where Christ always was and is. Setting up our own plans, then making use of Christ's Name with God, as if He were pledged by it to obey us, is an awful mistake, which He will rebuke to our shame.
But oh, for more of the lowly, broken spirit which finds its home in the Father's will, its delight in Christ's interests here, and which, burdened with that, knows how to plead with God, and never give up! And though He tarry long, victory is as sure as His throne. "Scripture cannot be broken, "and He has said, "Verily,verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you."
But,alas! how much more earnest we are apt to be when our will is at work than when it has been surrendered! How much more earnestly men will work in a business of their own than in the employ and interests of others! It but reveals that in us ( that is, in our flesh) dwells no good thing. Yet, though we be only servants as regards our service as pleasing Him and not ourselves, are we not sons too? Are we not going to be sharers of His glory, and partakers of every fruit of His obedience and of ours? Does He not call us "friends?" Does He not mingle with us? And while we call Him "Master and Lord," and rightly so, is He not even our constant Servant? Surely,surely!
Let us, then take courage. Let us lay hold of His business -- carry it in our hearts -- make it our own -- plead with God about it according to the measure He has given. If Christ be our object, let us ask of God -- ask much -- and we will receive much, and our joy will be full here, and our reward great there.
by - P.J.L.