"Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name. At that day ye shall ask in My name; ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:24, 26)
During Christ's life upon earth, the disciples had known but little of the power of prayer. In Gethsemane, Peter and the others had utterly failed. They had no conception of what it was to ask in the name of Jesus and to receive. The Lord promised them that in that day which was coming they would be able to pray with such a power in His name that they might ask what they would, and it should be given to them.
"Hitherto nothing." "In that day ye shall ask in My name and shall receive." These two conditions are still found in the Church. With the great majority of Christians there is such a lack of knowledge of their oneness with Christ Jesus and of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of prayer that they do not even attempt to claim the wonderful promises Christ here gives. But where God's children know what it is to abide in Christ and in vital union with Him and to yield to the Holy Spirit's teaching, they begin to learn that their intercession avails much and that God will give the power of His Spirit in answer to their prayer.
It is faith in the power of Jesus' name and in our right to use it that will give us the courage to follow on where God invites us to the holy office of intercessors. When our Lord Jesus in His farewell discourse gave His unlimited prayer promise, He sent the disciples out into the world with this consciousness: "He who sits upon the throne and who lives in my heart has promised that what I ask in His name I shall receive. He will do it."
Oh, if Christians but knew what it is to yield themselves wholly and absolutely to Jesus Christ and His service, how their eyes would be opened to see that intense and unceasing prayerfulness is the essential mark of the healthy spiritual life and that the power of all-prevailing intercession will indeed be the portion of those who live only in and for their Lord!
Blessed Saviour, give us the grace of the Holy Spirit so to live in Thee and with Thee and for Thee that we may boldly look to Thee for the assurance that our prayers are heard. Amen