Lord, open our eyes to see what You have given us in Your Word. Amen.
Text: John 15:7–11
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
The Lord says in John 16:23: “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” And here He says: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” These passages teach us that prayer in Jesus’ name is prayer in His fellowship. Whoever is and remains in the Lord, whoever lives in His love, for His kingdom, can pray in Jesus’ name, just like the Apostle Paul, who says: “I live, yet it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” This is an overwhelmingly great mercy and gives the soul the most noble peace. We then share in Christ’s work for man’s salvation and the advancement of the kingdom in glory, and we taste His own, the heavenly joy of love in the conversion of the sinner. Yet no one should think that this is given only to a few exceptional people. The Lord did not speak these words just for His apostles, but for all of us who believe in Him. All believers are branches of the Vine. The life of all believers is Christ’s Spirit and love. But we let the devil deceive us because of the weakness of our flesh and the tribulations of the world, so that we do not see what God has given us in His Son. You who believe truly have Christ’s Spirit and love. You want what He wants, you desire that His kingdom come, you are in Him and have His Word in you. You can pray in Jesus’ name and live in the Lord’s joy until it becomes perfect in you. But you are like someone who has the key to an immensely rich treasure chest, but does not believe that it unlocks it. Or you can be compared to someone who inherited a large and secure promissory note at the richest house in the world, but left it unused, and died from poverty, because he didn’t believe the claim was worth anything. It is the devil’s lie when you think you cannot pray in Jesus’ name. Consider the Word of the Lord in our text and last Sunday’s Gospel in connection with the Lord’s Prayer. Keep it in your heart. It is completely yours since your Baptism, and the Spirit in it shall give you faith and strengthen your faith.
Lord Jesus, give us the light and power of Your Holy Spirit, so that we can pray in Your name and taste Your joy. Lead us to Your death, to Your cross, so that our pride and unbelief may die, and Your love rule in us. You have loved us just as the Father loved You! What a statement this is: “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you!” Indescribable grace, but still we do not believe! Help us to believe, and teach us to pray. Pour out Your love in our heart by Your Holy Spirit, that we may keep Your command and remain in Your love. Amen.
“Abba, dear Father,” I am singing
When You have tuned my straying heart;
My sacrifice to God I’m bringing
So dear to Him and ne’er forgot.
In ev’ry Christian heart and mind,
God’s holy Temple you will find.
By You in Jesus’ name I dare this:
To bring my prayer to God alone;
My Father, give me what You promise:
Send me Your dear beloved Son!
And grant to me the highest good
That Jesus earned with holy blood.
Gersdorf: De Ord, som du mig lader høre L 403:5-6 tr. DeGarmeaux;
tune: Wer nur den lieben Gott (ELH 205); alternate hymn: Lord God, who art my Father dear ELH 386