Weekly Devotion – John 16:24

Published 7:19 am Thursday, May 12, 2022

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By Mike Caton

John 16:24, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

Jesus tells us that when we pray to God, when we come to him with our requests, we are to come in Jesus’ name. Jesus is our mediator, our go between, he paid the debt we owed that makes it possible for us to come into God’s presence, to have a relationship with him. It is not that we have to go to Jesus and then he goes to the Father, but that Jesus has made the way for us to go to the Father ourselves.

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But Jesus is not signing a blank check here, Jesus is not telling us we can ask for selfish or foolish things from the Father and expect to get them. And as mature Christians, we already understand that. But sometimes we still give into those same old selfish temptations; we want a new this or that, we want someone to do something, we want our spouse to straighten up, and so forth. God is not a genie, there to grant our every wish and whim. God is God, and our concerns ought to be growing his kingdom, pleasing him. That is not to say God is not concerned over the little things in our lives. And we can and should pray over everything. But our prayer list should not turn into a wish list. And our prayers need to focus on God and not ourselves.

It goes without saying God doesn’t always say yes to every single request we have. But we also know God knows better than we do what we need. Maybe the prayer doesn’t change the situation, maybe the prayer changes us. Maybe we can learn to trust God more, to know he will get us through this in his way and not ours. And maybe it is really our attitude, not the situation that needs to change. And when our attitude, our perspective changes, we will have the joy Jesus is speaking about here.

Father, help me trust you more. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.