Prayer Promises From Jesus

Bible Book: John  16 : 24
Subject: Prayer; Promises of Jesus

Jesus said, "Hitherto you have asked nothing in My Name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full."

The hummingbird is a small, beautiful migratory bird. Those birds have a built-in habit of flying to a warm climate in cold weather and going to a cooler area in summer. Christians have a lot of good habits. We go to church. We give money to support God’s cause. We sing hymns, study the Bible, witness, and help each other. Prayer is also a very important habit.

When we pray we are talking to the Lord of the universe. The words of Jesus are mind-boggling. When we think about John 16:24 we come alive with expectations. Prayer has unlimited possibilities while it gives overflowing joy.

I. We Can Pray About Things

We may pray for material and spiritual blessings. Sometimes we forget that God has interest in our physical well-being as well as our spiritual lives. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, a part of the prayer included the words, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Luke 11:3). God has interest in "the total man." We may ask Him for help in every area of life, although He has ultimate control of the answers He gives. And yet, we know that God invites us to talk to Him.

The words of the text are revolutionary. Sometimes we do not receive because we do not ask. We may pray for material as well as spiritual blessings. Jesus said to ask in His name and we will receive, and then our joy will be full or complete.

We remember the story of Jacob from the book of Genesis. That teenage fellow ran away from home because he and Esau had a "falling out" over the family inheritance. Jacob slept the first night on the ground and used a rock for a pillow. During the night he had a vision of a ladder that came down from heaven and angels were going back and forth on that ladder. When Jacob awakened he said that   he knew that he had been in the presence of God. He anointed the rock with oil and called the    place "Bethel" or the "House of God."

Jacob made a commitment to give one tenth of his income to God if God would bless him. For the next 20 years God's blessings were poured out upon him. He made a commitment and God did wonders in His life. When we get straightened out with God and become faithful to God, we're on good ground for God to bless us, too.

Many people know about Yonggi Paul Cho of Korea. He has served as pastor of the largest Church in the world for many years. Cho was in medical school when God called him into the ministry. He left those studies and began preaching. For six months he wandered around on the streets and in villages preaching. Then he became brave and asked the Lord for a desk and a chair. Soon he became exceedingly bold and asked for a bicycle.

At first, Cho felt that his requests were too big and that God might not answer. Later he learned that he could ask God in big ways. God started pouring out unlimited blessings and within a few years the Church had an attendance of about 50,000 in each of their 10 worship services where they had about 500,000 people in the worship center for sharing God’s Word every Sunday. God will bless in countless ways when we ask in the name of Jesus for His glory.

II. We Can Pray About Decisions

We may ask God for help as we make decisions. Read John 16:24 and notice the broad potential of prayer in those words. We may ask God to guide us. We would not dare try to walk without a compass or guide through any part of the Amazon forests of Brazil or the jungles of Africa. And yet, sometimes we try to walk through life without asking for God's direction.

Proverbs 3:5-6 are tremendous words for anyone. Solomon wrote in that famous text that we are to trust the Lord with our entire being and lean not unto our own understanding. That's a tough assignment for us, no doubt. Then he declares that we are to acknowledge God in all our ways and He will direct our paths. But often, we make our own decisions without consulting the Lord. When we do ask God for guidance, He will give those directions to us as Jeremiah 33:3 states: "Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you do not know." One commentator states that God will open doors for us that we didn’t even know about!

We need to ask God for directions about our careers, about our study and professional lives. We may ask directions from God in the matter of home life. We should seek His guidance about how to live with our families each day. And for those who have not married (but hope to!), prayer should be made about who the future lifetime mate is going to be. We need God’s guidance in Bible study and prayer to see children "brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." God helps us if we follow His directions.

The stories of Abraham and his son Isaac fascinate us. When Isaac was 40 years of age, Abraham decided it was time for Isaac to have a wife. He sent a servant to Padan-Aram to the home of relatives to find a wife for his son. Abraham believed God would direct in that kind of move.

Abraham's servant made the trip along with eight assistants because he needed protection from robbers along the way. Interestingly, they had a camel for all nine of those who made the journey plus one other camel for the bride who was expected to return with them (Genesis 24).

The servant asked God for directions and help, too. When he arrived in the Padan-Aram, the servant asked God to let the young woman who came to draw water to grant his request for water, too. The request was granted plus an invitation to go to her father's house and spend the night. Meals were prepared for the nine who made the journey, the animals were taken care of, and Rebecca was ready to go as the bride for Isaac because someone had been praying.

We sometimes want to know what may be best for us to do next year or tomorrow. The farmer may need to make a decision about how much cotton, wheat, or maize needs to be planted or which fields should be idle or rotated this year. The secretary may want to know which job needs to be done first. The mother may want questions answered about how she can handle family problems. Jesus says for us to ask. Ask in Christ’s name and God will provide directions for today.

III. We Can Pray About Troubles

We may ask God to help us when we face troubles and persecution. Most everyone is going to have tons of problems in life. We know that the devil tries to dishearten and discourage or destroy us.

What steps to we take at such a time as that? We may run or we may ask for divine help.

Once Jesus sent out a group of seventy men to witness; they came back with joy saying that even the demons were subject unto them through the name of Jesus (Luke 10:17). We face the world of drugs and immorality in all its forms. All enemies may be conquered through the power of Jesus. We don't have to be afraid of troubles when we believe and depend upon Jesus for help. In His name victory comes.

Psalms 3:1 states, "O Lord, how they are increased that trouble me. Many rise up against me. Then I cried unto God in His holy Hill and he heard me." When troubles come, it matters not what those troubles are, we may ask God for the solution.

An interesting story is found in 1 Chronicles chapter five. Three tribes of Israel faced a big problem. The total number of men in the tribes of Ruben, Gad, and Manasseh were 44,760. They faced the Hagarites, the descendants of Ishmael who was born of Abraham and Hagar. Those Hagarites numbered more than 100,000. The enemy was more than twice as strong as the three tribes. What did they do? They cried to God in battle. He heard them because they put their trust in Him. God gave them the victory over their enemies. Additionally, the Hebrews had the blessings of 50,000 camels, 250,000 sheep, and 2,000 donkeys. An answer came because they talked to God about their troubles.

We may face floods, fires, and all kinds of troubles. We may run out of money. The family may fall apart. The enemy attacks when we may be at our weakest point. The answer is the Lord.

IV. We Can Pray About Commitments

We may pray that we will cooperate with God in His work. We need to have a clear understanding of John 5:19. This verse states that Jesus always did what He saw God doing. He cooperated with His heavenly father. We need to do the same.

Martin Luther faced many dangers after he protested against some teachings of the Catholic Church. During a critical time in 1521, Luther hid out for almost a year in Wartburg Castle overlooking Eisenach, Germany. Within four months he translated the Greek New Testament into the German language, thereby opening the way for his countrymen to read the Scriptures for themselves. Luther prayed, studied the Scriptures, and worked in the way that he believed God wanted him to do.

If we want revival, we don't run from God as Jonah did, but obey and cooperate with God in the work that He has for us. . Our "tents" may be enlarged so we can do more for God. Jesus said we are to "go into the highways and hedges and invite people to help fill God’s house" (Luke 14:23). We can do as John Knox did in Scotland in the 1600's. He prayed, "Oh God, give me Scotland or I die." We can pray that way for our families, our Church, our nation, and the world. We may pray for healing as James 5:16-17 teaches.

If we want the fullness of God's presence, we can ask for that. He will give us the overflowing presence of the power of the Holy Spirit that is promised in Ephesians 5:18. Jesus says in John 7:37-39 that "rivers of living water" are available those who ask.

One prayer of Joshua instructs us. When the Hebrews lost a big battle at Ai, Joshua fell upon the ground and began to throw dirt upon his head. The elders of Israel joined him. For a long time during the day those men were upon the ground crying. Even Joshua said, "Oh Lord, I wish that we had stayed on the other side of the Jordan River and had not come over here. The enemy is going to surround us. We're going to be blotted out. Oh, Lord, how helpless we are!"

God said to Joshua, "Man, stop your crying. Stop your praying. You know what the problem is. Get up and find the answer and then you can see the problem solved." We may be like Joshua and fall down and feel helpless. God says, "Get up and go to work and cooperate with me and victory will come over your problems."


We need to keep up the habit of praying, even when we think God is not hearing us. The words in the text about "ask and you shall receive" speak of the present tense, or ongoing prayer habit. It’s good to pray in the morning, at noon, and at night. However, we can pray "all around the clock." The Bible states that we are to "pray without ceasing." We ought to develop the prayer-habit that has everyone thinking of God and talking to Him at every season of life.

William Carey served as a missionary in India and Burma. Before he became a missionary, Carey served as pastor of a small church in England and he had a shoe repair business. Someone reprimanded Carey one day by saying to him, "Carey, you spend too much time in prayer." William Carey answered the man, saying, "Prayer is my main business. Shoe repairing is my side-line business."

Whatever our job may be, let’s keep the communication lines between ourselves and God open. We need to let the breath of prayer stain the houses where we live, the offices where we work, the places we go. We need to continuously pray.

If a person needs salvation, that one can confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in his heart that God has raised Him from the dead" and salvation will be that one’s inheritance (Romans 10:9-10). Anyone can pray the "sinner’s prayer" that simply states that we are sinners and that we repent of sin and trust Jesus as Savior and we become the redeemed children of God ready to do His will.

Here is a "legend" or story of a man who traveled to a certain city one cold morning. As he arrived at his hotel, he noticed that no person was wearing shoes, everyone was barefooted, including all the clerks and guests.

In the coffee shop, he noticed a well-dressed fellow at a nearby table and asked, "Why aren't you wearing shoes? Don't you know about shoes?"

"Of course, I know about shoes," the patron replied. "Then why don't you wear them?" the visitor asked.

"Ah, that is the question," the patron returned. "Why don't I wear shoes?"

After breakfast, the visitor walked out of the hotel and into the snow. Again, every person he saw on the street was barefooted. He asked a passerby, "Why doesn't anyone here wear shoes? Don't you know that they protect the feet from the cold?"

The passerby said, "Believe me, we all know about shoes. See that building? It's a shoe factory. We are so proud of the plant that we gather there every week to hear the man in charge tell us how wonderful shoes are."

"Then why don't you wear shoes?" the visitor persisted.

"Ah, that is the question," the passerby replied. "Why don't we wear shoes?"

When it comes to prayer, many Christians are like the people in that unusual city. They know about prayer. They know how wonderful it is and what a blessing it can be. They come to church to hear sermons about prayer. But if you ask them why they don't pray more, they would say, "Ah, that is the question. Why don't I pray more?"

God answers prayer. Let’s experience life-changing possibilities that God opens as we pray. Will you let the prayer habit have a new start in your life today?