Ewald Schmidt 

“So with you: now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:22-24, NIV
We are living every day between the two poles of mourning and joy. Our joy is the presence of Christ in our lives; he gave us new life and new hope as children of God. Our mourning is about the brokenness of this world, also visible in my own life where I have not surrendered all to Jesus. We are now living in the time between Christ’s ascension and his return. This is a period of grace for the world. Jesus did not come to earth the first time to judge the people, but to save them (John 3:17). We now follow in his footsteps as his disciples, continuing his mission, proclaiming the Gospel to all around us. This is not always an easy journey, as we have seen this week.
We, however, are not alone in our mission. The Holy Spirit is with us every step of the way as our advocate. In every one of the chapters of Jesus’ farewell discourse (John 14-17), we see the prominence of prayer in our journey with Christ. Jesus has given us the free access to the throne of God, whenever we want. He has gained this privilege for us on the cross. When he conquered death, the kingdom of God gained the final victory over this world. From that moment on, believers are welcome to approach the throne of grace through prayer. Now we may ask what we need for our life’s mission in the name of Christ. Remember that it is not a shopping list to get all that my heart desires in this world. The privilege of prayer is given to fulfill Christ’s mission, the building of his kingdom and the salvation of the world. As a disciple, I am called to be part of God’s mission of grace, to share his love with the world. I was created for this purpose. I have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Spirit works in me, enabling me to do what God asks of me. And everything I need to do my work, I may ask in prayer. When I pray, I am reminded that I belong to God. I am dependent on his provision. I surrender my own will to obey his.
Do you see the precious truth in John 16:24b? When my life falls in line with Christ’s plans, the result is complete joy! I am a co-worker in Christ’s mission. My life becomes meaningful; I experience the joy of making a positive difference in this world.
We now live in the time of prayer. We ask and we receive what we need to glorify God. One day, Jesus will return and we will be with him forever. Then, prayer will no longer be needed, according to Jesus. We will receive all that Christ has earned for us on the cross. We will get our full inheritance and enjoy spending it with Jesus.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you know our pain in this world, for you have experienced it too. Thank you for the communication channel of prayer to you and that I am always welcome to talk to you. Teach me to trust you and to pray for what I need to honour you. Amen.