I’m wrapping up my message for Sunday from John 16:23-28. This is a comfort given by Jesus as he is closing his time with the disciples in the Upper Room. Jesus had just unfolded a ton of truth–Holy Spirit, Heaven, Future, Fruit-bearing–all stuff we look back on and understand because we have the full revealed Word of God and the illumination of the Holy Spirit. But the disciples faced an uncertain future. So Jesus gives them, repeatedly, the promise that they would now be able to approach God because of Jesus.
So it got me to thinking about what this means. When I pray to the Father, in Jesus name, what is a good real-world illustration? Well I came up with quite a few and found some. But in my own personal world of book publishing, I thought of the endorsement. This illustration didn’t make the cut in my message, but I thought it great to give here:
In the world of publishing, endorsements are huge. I’ll never forget my first book proposal. The publisher liked my idea. It was something that fit what they were trying to do. But, I was a nobody. They didn’t really know me. So they asked me to get some endorsements.
But who would put their neck on the line for me? Well, by God’s grace I was able to use a few connections and get well-known author and teacher, Elizabeth George to endorse my first book.
I got a few others. And so the publisher looked at that and they said my endorsements are what sealed the deal. They didn’t know me, but they knew Elizabeth George and her reputation.
With my latest project coming out in January, I got the very gracious endorsement of Jerry Jenkins. What that does for a reader is this. They pick up my book and maybe they are intrigued by the title and content, but they don’t’ know me. But they see on there that Jerry Jenkins, whom they like, has endorsed me. So they read the book.
In other words, they don’t buy the book based on my merits, but on Jerry’s or Elizabeth’s.
When we pray, God doesn’t say, “Well, Dan’s been good, I’ll answer this week.” No he sees the righteousness of Jesus. He sees Jesus. And because Jesus and the Father are one—He will answer our prayers.
*Please note that my message does include the totality of Jesus promise. Obviously we know Jesus doesn’t endorse our praying for lustful, self-destroying items. Praying in Jesus name is a big qualifier. Just thought I’d send that to avoid a glut of angry theological email/comments.