“Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” John 16:24
Oswald Chambers is convinced that prayer is more about coming into union with God than it is about getting things. The condition Jesus places on answered prayer is to ask “in My name.” What does that mean? Is it just a postscript at the end of a prayer, “…and we ask this in Jesus Name. Amen.”, or is it something more? Jesus makes another reference to answered prayer in the chapter before: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7) Two conditions: union with His presence, “if you abide in Me;” and with His word, “… and My words abide in you.” What if “in My name” means “in union with My nature and purpose to the degree that it is no longer your prayer but our prayer?” Jesus always gets His prayers answered and we always get ours answered when we are so in union with Him that two have become one, and our prayer is indistinguishable from His.
1John 5:14-15 would be in agreement with this thought: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” The key is being one with His will which means intimacy before asking. We shouldn’t be trying to get what we want from God, but rather, trying to get what He wants inside of us. Before His will is done on earth someone needs to voluntarily pray it from here but I don’t think we can do that unless we are intimate enough to really pray in His name. Prayer is vital, but for it to be effective our first goal must be union with God. Only then will our joy be full.