Sunday, February 19, 2006

An observation on John 16

If you were Jesus's disciple and he said that his father would give you anything you asked for in
Jesus name, what would you ask for? I was thinking about that. Growing up in the culture of America, I automatically think of asking for things, things for me and maybe my family or maybe even asking for someone to get well. But what did the disciples actually ask for?

Before going any further let us look at John 16 again. It is right before the crucifixion and Jesus is trying to explain to his disciples that he is going away but will send them a helper, the Holy Spirit. Jesus explains that they will be sad and then the sadness will turn to gladness. Then he explains in verse 23 that when they ask for things they will not ask Jesus but his father. Verse 24 continues by saying, "Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy."

Now back to the disciples, what did they ask for after Jesus ascended up into heaven? In Acts 1: 24-25, they were in the upper room and asked God to give them guidance in choosing the person to replace Judas. In Acts 3, Peter asked in Jesus' name for a man crippled man to be healed then proceeded to use the opportunity to share the gospel. Okay this next one is amazing. John and Peter had just been released from jail. They joined the other believers later in Acts 4. This is part of their prayer: "And now, Lord, listen to their threats. Lord, help us, your servants, to speak your word without fear. Help us to be brave by showing us your power to heal. Give proofs and make miracles happen by the power of Jesus, your holy servant." They asked God to help them to keep doing ministry in a mighty way without fear. I think I need to pray that one. I am sure there are many more examples in Acts that I haven't mentioned but these examples are a good start. The disciples asked for God's kingdom to come. The disciples asked for guidance, healing, and God's power in ministry. The result was the early church.

God, help me to pray the prayer of those early disciples. May I seek first your kingdom as they did. Give me wisdom to know what your work for me is. May all I do bring glory to you. Give me your words to pray, your will to seek. Amen

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