The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
John 16:23-24 gives us a great and mighty promise of Jesus. It is best understood as we recognize that God has one will. Despite being three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God has one will, and it is for your good.
We ask Jesus things. Certainly his disciples asked him things while he was walking around with them. That’s to be expected. Who are you going to ask for help? The leader who is in the room with you, or some other leader who is not standing there? We ask Jesus, the one who is with us.
What about after the ascension? As the Holy Spirit has come, we realize that God is dwelling right with us. We ask, and we ask the Father, because Jesus has said the Father is available to us. We ask in Jesus’ name, because it is Jesus’ righteousness which has been placed upon the Christian by faith. And we trust that the Holy Spirit has made all things needful available to us.
In the Church, then, our prayers are trinitarian. We bring our petitions to the Father, through Jesus, by means of the Holy Spirit. What if we mess up the language sometimes? It is all right. Our God understands. Yet if we wish to be very specific, if we wish to find encouragement from this passage, we will use some of this language to recognize the way our Lord has promised to hear and answer prayer.
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