Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
There's a prayer that Jesus prayed that we can pray, and we'll be happier for praying it. It was just before He worked the greatest miracle of His ministry--when He raised the dead Lazarus to life again. He wanted to be sure that the Father would hear Him, for everything depended on this prayer being heard and answered. "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me" (John 11:41, 42). We can know this, too.
No "voice from heaven" came this time to reassure Him; the heavens were as silent as before. He staked His entire ministry on His publicly expressed confidence that the Heavenly Father would honor Him before the people and before the world by granting His request. He poured out His soul in that loud voice when He commanded the dead man inside the tomb: "Lazarus, come forth!" (vs. 43). And you know what happened: Lazarus did.
Whether Jesus in His human nature needed the personal encouragement that an answered prayer could bring Him we do not know; but you and I need the assurance that when we pray, the Father hears us. When He commanded the dead man to "come forth," He spoke as our Representative. "Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. ... Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:23, 24).
He is not making empty promises; obviously He intends that we know what He means when He says to "ask in My name." All egocentric motivation has become outgrown so that we are caught up in His motivation, not ours; we are "in Him." We have "overcome" our childish prayers for a crown and now are concerned that the Lamb receive His reward. We want "the Lamb's wife" to "make herself ready" so that "the marriage of the Lamb" may be no longer delayed century after century (cf. Rev. 19:7, 8). What we now live for is to have a tiny part in crowning Him "King of kings and Lord of lords." Thus our "joy" becomes "full."
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: May 30, 2005.
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