Lord, open our eyes to see that which thou hast given us in thy word. Amen.
John 15, 7-11. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Here in is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
The Lord says, John 16, 23 : “Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” And here he says : “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” These passages teach us that prayer in the name of Jesus is prayer in the fellowship of Jesus. He who is and abides in the Lord; he who lives in his love, for his kingdom, as did the apostle Paul, who says: “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me;” — he is the one who can pray in the name of Jesus. This is a mercy beyond measure, and gives most precious peace to the soul. When we have it we take part in Christ’s work for the salvation of men and the perfecting of his kingdom in glory; and we taste his own joy, the joy of divine love, in the salvation of sinners. Let none think that this is given to only a favored few of exceptional piety and learning. The Lord has not spoken these words for the benefit of his apostles only, but for us all who believe in him. All the faithful are branches of the vine; their life is the spirit and love of Christ. But we allow the devil to deceive us by reason of the infirmities of the flesh and the cares of this world, so that we do not see what God has given us in his Son. You, who believe, have in truth the spirit and love of Christ; his will is your will; your desire is that his kingdom may come; you are in him, and have his word in you. You are able to pray in the name of Jesus, and live in the joy of the Lord until it is full in you. However, you are like a man who has received the key to a vault containing immense wealth; but who does not believe that the key will fit the lock. Or you may be likened unto a man who has inherited a great and undisputed claim against the richest house in the world; but who makes no use of it, and dies of want because he does not believe that the claim has any value. It is the devil who deceives you, when you imagine that you cannot pray in the name of Jesus. Ponder the word of the Lord in our text and in the gospel lesson of last Sunday, in connection with the Lord’s Prayer; keep it in your heart; it all belongs to you since the time of your baptism; and the Spirit which it contains shall give you faith, and strengthen your faith.
Lord Jesus, give us the light and power of thy Holy Spirit, that we may pray in thy name and taste of thy joy. Lead us into thy death, to the foot of thy cross, that our pride and unbelief may die, and thy love reign in us. Thou hast loved us, as the Father hath loved thee! How astounding are these words: “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you!” They contain unutterable mercy; and do we still refuse to believe? Help us to believe, and teach us to pray; pour out thy love in our hearts by thy Holy Spirit, that we may keep thy commandments and abide in thy love. Amen.
Father, fix my soul on thee;
Every evil let me flee,
Nothing want beneath, above,
Happy in thy precious love.
O that all may seek and find
Every good in Christ combined!
Him let Israel still adore,
Trust him, praise him evermore.