“Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” John 16.23
So many people have probably read this verse and thought something along the lines of – “I wish!” It seems so simple, yet in reality we have to ask whether it really works? We do what we can to pray in the name of Jesus, but if we are honest it doesn’t seem to make any real difference to what happens.
However, Jesus was not talking about a formula for success and there is something about this verse that can be all too easily overlooked; prayer is in the context of relationship. There is a deep relationship between Jesus and his Father that is at work in prayer, and it is this relationship that we need to begin to explore more in order to learn to have increased confidence in our prayers.
The desire of Jesus is that we discover the extent of his Father’s love for us and catch a sense of just how loved we are, just as he experienced it. When we are captivated by his love, we are more naturally going to be able to capture the heart and will of Jesus for those things for which we pray.
This can begin right now! Before you bring anything to God in prayer, begin by spending a little time reflecting on the love that the Father has for you. This is not just something to soften his heart towards you, but is because knowing more of his love will affect your prayers for healing and for anything else, as well as being something that will change your life for ever.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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