In this second teaching on Prayer In Jesus Name, we will be looking at the phrase " my name..." in John 16. Here are the texts:

Joh 16:23  And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

Joh 16:24  Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Joh 16:26-27  At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God

We see the phrase " my name..." in each verse, which is the connecting link for these verses in this chapter. In Chapter 14 we read that Jesus will definitively and affirmatively answer are prayer requests, made in His name which:

1) bring glory to God through the Son

2) are in keeping with the Holy Spirit teaching us all the things of Jesus, as is revealed in scripture

3) are asked for the purpose of being and remaining fruitful

These are the foundation of Jesus' ironclad assurance to answer our requests in His name with a "yes". In this chapter, Jesus tell us that we have assurance that:

1) the Father Himself will answer

2) because the Father Himself loves us

3) so that our joy will be full. 


The Father Answers


Joh 16:23  And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

God, who made all things by speaking them into existence, did so as Elohiym in Genesis 1. This God could be seen as creating almost objectively, distantly. This God is the powerful, majestic plural entity. Period. In Genesis 2, when God created humanity, we see God desginated as the Lord God, YHWH Elohiym. YHWH is the covenant relationship name of God. Thus, the omnipotent objective God is intimately interested in a covenant relationship with humanity. This could be viewed as God's subjectivity, for He comes very close, forming us with His hands, breathing into our nose, handbuilding the garden, personally teaching us about boundaries, personally creating gender, marriage, and intimacy. In both chapters, the Godhead is represented by the word Elohiym, the majectic plural. 

Artist rendition of Adam and Eve's view of God after they sinned.

Artist rendition of Adam and Eve's view of God after they sinned.

When sin entered however, the Bible says that humanity "...heard the Voice of the Lord God walking... " This is an illusion of John 1, where the Word was with God and is God. Whereas in Genesis 1-2 Elohiym is present throughout, with the entrance of sin only the Voice of the Lord God, the Word, comes to meet humanity. Before sin we knew God in His plurality, but now we can only know Him singularly.

God as the wrathful, arbitrary judge

God as the wrathful, arbitrary judge

This is because sin is death. The Word, coming to meet us in Chapter 3, is entering into our death. For the sinner, whose orientation is rebellion, God now looks like a stern judge, an arbitrary diety, much like Zeus, Odin, and the numerous other supreme gods of the pagan. Love appears to be dependent upon the performance of something which is outside our nature and impossible. We are always hiding, always sewing fig leaves, always placing blame for our failures on the next person, never able to be perfect enough to please this God whose holiness is life, while our unholiness is death. We fail to grasp the reality that we should be dead, instead viewing God as the One who wants to actively kill us. We feel no love from God.

Joh 1:18  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Joh 5:37  And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heardhis voice  at any time, nor seen his shape.

Joh 6:46  Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

Consider these verses. After the fall, no one saw God at anytime. This means that no one saw God the way humanity did a Divine Plural Oneness. Also, no one has seen the one we call "the Father" at any time. This means that the only aspect of God humanity has had any dealing with, in a tangible, sensory way, since the fall has been with 2nd person of the Godhead, the Voice/the Word. The Spirit stayed behind the scenes, and the Father remained silent and distant. 

Man could not reach God. God reached down to man in the incarnation.

Man could not reach God. God reached down to man in the incarnation.

Enter the incarnation. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son..."  The incarnation is the Father in action. He actively sends The Word to/into humanity. The Word is the Father's action, so that "...he that hath seen me hath seen the Father..." (John 14:9)

The cry of humanity was for reconciliation, and God acted to reconcile "...whosoever believeth of Him..." so that none should "...perish, but have everlasting life." 

With the incarnation, we can now come "...boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." This throne of grace is the mercy seat, upon which the Father sits. Jesus is telling us that, because of Him, we have direct access to God the Father and the entire Godhead, and that God Himself will personally answer. He will not keep silent when we come to Him wrapped in Jesus. Heck, to ask "in My name" is to expect the God the Father to answer! 


The Father Himself Loves Us

Joh 16:26-27  At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God

Not only is God not the judgmental arbiter or vicious tyrant, but God actually loves us.  

1Jn 4:7-10  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God Is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

The Trinity in relationship with Themself

The Trinity in relationship with Themself

God IS love. Love demands relationship. If God is Love, and love demands relationship, the God must have already been in relationship before creating humanity. God's love didn't start with creation. If this is not so, then God became love when He created. This is not true. God's love moved Them to create. Therefore God must be a Plural Entity in order to be in a relationship of love prior to creation. The Godhead loved each other.

God's love moved God to love.

God's love moved God to love.

Enter the incarnation. The Godhead loved the world so much that They gave up 1/3 of Themself to humanity for humanity. They incarnated 1/3 of Themself permanently into flesh, to save us. This means that Their relationship, physical as well as emotional, was altered somehow at the incarnation. We cannot fathom this, but the incarnation was such a sacrifice for the Godhead that if we were to prayerfully meditate on it, our hearts would break with gratitude for the truth found in John 3:16. God so loved us that They were willing to sacrifice a portion of Their relationship, and simultaneously invite and provide a way for us to experience what They have between Them from eternity. 

When we pray "in Jesus name" we are praying for the purpose of experiencing this Love of God, of accepting this love of God.  


Filling up our Joy

Joh 16:24  Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

In keeping with our Chiastic structure, of the 3 versus we started this study with, this is the center, the point. In this Scripture, Jesus is telling us that we should ask "in my name" that our joy may be full.  

Consider this: we are told to ask because God Himself with definitively answer, and will do so because the Father Himself loves us. This love is 4-fold: 

1) There is a love that God has for us specifically


2) In order to access this love, God had to actively love by giving us Jesus. God's love in Christ gives us access to God's original love for humanity, and specific love for us individually.

3) The Father loves the Son, and since we are in the Son we receive the love the Father has for the Son. 

4) God is love, therefore because God became flesh, and is still God, we are invited into the Love of God, which they have for Themself.

Sin has brought a huge chasm between us and God. This chasm is literally death, non-existance. Imagine the horror, the terror, the guilt and shame felt by humanity when mankind sinned. Those feelings are right in Genesis 3:

Gen 3:8  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife HID themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Gen 3:10  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I WAS AFRAID, because I was naked; and I HID myself.

God's grace met humanity in death, kept us alive in its bubble, offering us a chance to experience God's love again through Jesus Christ. Where we once knew nothing from distance, horror, condemnation, we may now know that not only does God love us now, but He has loved us always. These verses give us permission to pursue the satisfaction of our joy in the love of God. While happiness is a feeling, depending upon what happens, joy is a knowing. We know God loves us. We can and should have happiness in our lives based on what happened at the incarnation, Calvary, the resurection, the ascension, as well as based on what will happen...the soon return of Jesus. However, to have joy is to accept, in our deepest level, the ever-abiding, love of God. To have joy is to accept that we have value even though what happens may not make us happy, treasured, appreciated, etc. To pray in Jesus name is to accept and pursue our Joy to its fullest in the love of God with full confidence in His hearing and answering.