March 16, 2015

Ask for Anything You Wish!

John 15:5-16

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

—  John 15:7

Wow! Ask for anything, and God will give it to us? This statement can sound too good to be true. Of course, we have to look at Jesus' statement carefully, and that is a helpful exer­cise for engaging in the discipline of prayer.

Jesus' conditions are the key: "If you remain in me and my words remain in you . . ." He's not offering to dole out anything we want.

Later Jesus goes on to say, "Whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you." We must know the significance of Jesus' name and be sure that we are in tune with him as we pray. And in gratitude for all he has done for us, we'll want to seek his will. (See also 1 John 5:14-15.)

When we are in sync with Christ, we will pray as he did when he was about to give up his life for our sake. Faced with his impending death to save his people, Jesus pleaded with his Father for relief, but added, "Yet not as I will, but as you will" (Matthew 26:39).

The apostle Paul wrote, "We are co-workers in God's service" (1 Corinthians 3:9). We want what­­ever contributes to God's cause.

Our prayers are answered as we walk in step with Christ. God will provide all we need in order to do all he wants and to become all he means us to be. And he knows that our response will be a grateful "Wow!"

Lord, we want to do your will and live by it, serving in your kingdom. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

About the author — Norman F. Brown

Chaplain Norman F. Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1969. He served aboard destroyers during the Vietnam conflict and ashore in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor. By then God had made clear his call to work in pastoral ministry, and Norman entered Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. Chaplain Brown pastored churches during his ministry career but spent most of his time as a navy chaplain. During one assignment he served three years at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he and his wife, Ruth, encountered the Iona Community and their emphasis on spiritual disciplines. Chaplain and Mrs. Brown have three married children and nine grandchildren.

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