Lenten Reflection

Lent is, among other things, a time of prayerful reflection. Perhaps even a time when we reflect on prayer itself. Our Lord made an astonishing statement to His followers: “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father” (John 14:13). At the heart of Jesus’ instruction to His disciples is the cause-and-effect sequence that God brings glory to Himself by responding to our requests “in Jesus’ name.”
In ancient Rome, if the master of a house gave even the lowest slave his signet ring and sent him on an errand, that slave could act and move with the full authority of the master. So, what kept a slave from stealing the signet ring and using it selfishly? Simply this, anything the slave did in the master’s name, but against his will, would be undone and the slave would be put to death.
When we ask for things in Christ’s name, we ask for and align ourselves with the hope that Christ’s will is going to happen. We are like that Roman slave bearing Christ’s signet ring, speaking and acting on His behalf – according to His express will.  The illustration falters in that we are more than slaves – we are sons and daughters of God; but the point remains: Jesus is teaching us that when we pray in His name for His will, we can count on God answering that prayer, and that it will bring great glory to Him to do it.
Are we content with that? Are we deeply pleased and thankful that Christ’s will is going to happen? Has our desire to control what happens around us now and in the future (a perfectly normal human impulse) been consciously set aside so that we can just marvel to hold that signet ring and be grateful to be part of the immense things happening around us? And that all of this will be for the express satisfaction and glory of God alone?
Lent is a good time to consider such things.

Reece Friesen
Pastor of Discipleship and Outreach
EbenEzer Mennonite Church
Abbotsford, BC