|God Loves You|
Jesus said, "Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." John 16:24.
To ask someone for something is to take a position of being inferior to the person you are making the request of, at least in that moment. The very act of asking is humble.
This verse has no reference to earning- just asking. Asking implies relationship; you need to know the one you are asking.
You do not come with an offer to earn or buy, but you must simply ask.
"AND YOU WILL RECEIVE"
This is a promise, but Jesus did not say exactly what you will receive. You may receive what you asked for; but the answer may be no, or wait while God works in your heart to change your desires.
HAPPINESS VERSES JOY
The word happy refers to good happening, so happiness is circumstance driven since it is our positive response to the events around us. We are made to respond to our circumstances, if things go well you are likely to be happy.
Joy has no regard to circumstances; you can experience adverse events and still have joy. Joy is from within; it comes by the spirit and is a fruit of God's Spirit living in us. Joy may find expression through prayer. God makes a promise that in prayer we will experience joy.
"IN MY NAME"
We represent Jesus in our prayers to the Father. We are bringing his kingdom interest before God. On one hand this is very open and on the other this is very restraining. Open because it suggests anything may be asked for since he represents the authority of God's power, and restraining since it is saying your request represents his desires. Meaning we would pray for the things he wants; and we would not pray for things that are opposed to his holiness. For example we would not pray for revenge since Jesus taught love and forgiveness, or we would not pray for idle wealth when Jesus taught to sell all you have and give to the poor and follow him.
As in all things Christian, this is tied to our relationship with Jesus. We cannot pray in his name if we do not know his interest, or his desires. We cannot pray in his name if we do not know him and his teaching.
We all make mistakes in prayer but we must press on and pray. It is worth the effort to know God better through prayer and to experience the spiritual joy He gives.
Note: There are other conditions of prayer in scripture, such as prayer must be according to God's will and not for self-gratification, but this verse is one of the foundations to prayer.
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