Rejoice in Answered Prayer Jn. 16:23-24 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Jesus showed us in Jn 16:23-24 that we should rejoice in answered prayer. Getting a prayer answered is a reason to rejoice. And notice that Jesus said, “that your joy may be full.” So, he wasn’t just talking about a little bit of joy. He was talking about full joy. So, let’s talk about answered prayer.
First, “ye shall ask the Father.” The reason some folks don’t rejoice in answered prayer is that they don’t do what Jesus told them to do here. They don’t see answered prayers because:
- They don’t ask [Jas 4:2]. You’re not going to get anything done like that. He said, “ask.”
- They just recite prayers [Matt 6:7]. You’re not going to get anything done like that. He specifically told you that he’s not going to hear you just because you keep saying the same thing over and over again.
- They “ask amiss,” [Jas 4:3]. You’re asking for something God won’t give you, because it’s not good for you. This is the same principle as a mother refusing to give her screaming child candy. She knows it’s not good for him and she’s not going to spoil him.
- They don’t ask “the Father.” You’re either talking to some other god who is not God the Father, or else you’re talking to God but he is not your Father, because you are not his child. Then get saved and become his child. A third possibility is that you’re saved but living in the world [Jas 4:4]. Then separate from the world and God will be your Father [2 Cor 6:17-18].
So, you must ask the Father. Humble yourself and go to him in prayer and ask him.
Second, ye shall ask “in my name.” There is an obvious distinction here between the Father and Jesus, because Jesus said to ask the Father “in my name.” When I was taught to pray in church, as a child, I was never taught to pray “in Jesus’ name.” We prayed to Mary and to saints and we said the “Our Father,” but we didn’t pray the way Jesus taught us to pray in Jn 16. It’s no wonder that I never experienced the full joy that Jesus promised here.
Wouldn’t you know that the devil would throw a monkey wrench into the cogs of prayer over “my name.” There is a doctrine now that teaches that the Father’s name is Jesus, that the Son’s name is Jesus and that the Spirit’s name is Jesus. The doctrine teaches that there is only one God and only one person in the Godhead, and that’s Jesus. But that doctrine contradicts these verses. In 2 Cor 2:10 Christ is a “person.” And in Heb 1:2-3 God’s “Son” is “the express image of his person,” referring to God as a person. The common name for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is “the Lord,” [Matt 28:19; Acts 10:48; 1 Cor 12:3; 2 Cor 3:17; Ex 3:14-16; Ezek 20:5], not Jesus.
So, ask the Father in Jesus’ name. Jesus has his own name [Matt 1:21].
Third, “he will give it you.” He didn’t say how long it would be before he gives it to you. Daniel had to wait three full weeks on a limited diet before God gave him an answer to his prayer [Dan 10:2-3]. Who knows how many years Daniel prayed for his enemies to have compassion on Israel and return them to their country [Dan 6:10; 1 Ki 8:46-50] before Cyrus was raised up in answer to that prayer [Ezra 1:1-3].
God didn’t say what, precisely, he would give you. He gave Paul “grace” instead of removing the thorn [2 Cor 12:7-10]. He gave Joseph two more years in prison [Gen 40-41] and then he released him. He gave Job more life in his suffering rather than death [Job 3:20-22]. Jesus said that the Father would give. And give, he does.
So, look for God’s hand to see what he is giving you; it may not be what you expected.
Fourth, “ye shall receive.” Receiving what God gives you is where the joy comes from. It doesn’t come from getting what you asked for; the joy comes from receiving what God gives you. Paul received the grace God gave him and found pleasure in that more than in his healing [2 Cor 12:9-10]. Paul found God’s grace a far better answer to his prayer than what he expected. Joseph had to receive the additional two years in prison before he was released, but God made him the second ruler in Egypt as a result. You can certainly see that there was no bitterness in Joseph over this answer to his prayer [Gen 45:4-8]. Job received the continual suffering that God allowed, but was also given double what he had lost, his ten children restored to life and 140 years to enjoy all these blessings [Job 42:12-17].
So, if you want to rejoice in answered prayer, receive what God gives you.
Conclusion: if you receive what God gives you in answer to your prayer, your joy will be full. Jesus received the cup that God gave him, though he prayed that it would be removed from him. And he found the joy when he received the cross [Heb 12:2]. Your joy will be full when you receive what the Father gives you.