September 06, 2018

Within God's Will, in the Name of Jesus

1 John 5:13-15

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

—  1 John 5:14

Today let’s focus on what it means to ask within God’s will. We’ll look at some important ways this affects not only what we ask for but also how we ask—and all this connects with asking in the name of Jesus.

First, Jesus taught, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” and “Whatever you ask in my name, the Father will give you” (John 14:6; 15:16). This means that by recognizing Jesus’ authority as the Son of God, we can pray in his name and have access to God the Father almighty. Jesus, who died for our sins in order to reconcile us with God (Rom. 5:6-11), is the only reason we have access to the Father in prayer.

Second, our prayers are based on what Jesus has done for us, not on anything we have done. Jesus’ name identifies him as the one who saved “his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). So to ask in the name of Jesus is to acknowledge that Jesus is our Savior, who always intercedes for us (see Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).

Finally, in everything he did, Jesus wanted to do God’s will and bring him glory (John 6:38-40; 12:26-28). Jesus’ example is the pattern for everything we do. So asking in Jesus’ name means we want to do God’s will and to glorify God (see John 14:13). And to these requests God will always say yes.

Lord Jesus, one and only Savior, I trust the power and authority of your name. Help me to follow your example, praying and living by God’s will in all I do, through the work of your Spirit in me. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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