Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“If in my name you ask anything of me, I will do it.”
The night before he died, Jesus spoke passionately to his disciples of the time soon to come for them when he would leave them and return to the Father. After he was gone, he told them, the Father would send the holy Ghost to take his place, and they would receive it. Then, he went on to explain, they would enjoy a new relationship with God.
Speaking of those coming days when they would have the Spirit inside them instead of merely with them, Jesus said, “If in my name you ask anything of me, I will do it.” This comment helps answer the question that I have often been asked over the years: “Should we pray to God only or to Jesus also?”
The answer is, either one. Jesus spoke of praying to the Father as well as to the Son, and it is an indication of the harmony that exists in heaven that it just doesn’t matter whether a person speaks to the Father or the Son in any particular situation. They are one, in heart, in mind, and in purpose.
The Son is not envious of the Father’s glory, and the Father is not affronted by praise offered to His Son. In fact, Jesus said that it was his Father’s desire that “all men honor the Son, just as they honor the Father” (Jn. 5:23). John’s amazing vision of heaven and of the future included this remarkable scene (Rev. 5:11-12): “And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne, as well as of the living creatures and elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, shouting with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.’ ”
Jesus is worthy of praise because the Father made him worthy. And we may talk to Jesus and ask him for what we need because the Father has given him “all power in heaven and in earth.” He has set Jesus at His right hand, and he makes intercession for us to the Father every day of our lives. In fact, the Father has set Jesus so close to His right hand that every word we speak to Jesus, He hears; and Jesus, in return, holds the Father so dear that he says nothing to us in reply unless His Father bids him to say it.
So, give no thought as to which of the two, the Father or the Son, you will address today. Be led by the Spirit in your praying, and whatever comes out of your mouth will be acceptable to God. Or better yet, just pray in the Spirit altogether. Then, all three of you are holding a conversation together at the same time.