No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends…so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:15-16)
The tone of my prayers is often a good indicator of what I’m believing about Jesus. Unfortunately, there are times when my prayers to Jesus make it sound like I’m praying to a loan shark.
I come to Jesus as he stands on a dark street corner. The flickering light of a street lamp casts a shadow on his face and an unfiltered cigarette dangles limply from mouth. “Whatcha need?” he says, in a strong Brooklyn accent. He glances at his watch, as if he’s in a hurry.
“Jesus, I’m in serious need of patience. My little girl Ella must have ingested some insanity pills or something, because she’s driving me crazy. Oh, and we’re trying to potty train her too, which ain’t working out so well right now. Can you help me out? Can you give me some patience?”
“Yeah, I got what you’s need, but I ain’t so sure I want to give it to you. What are you’s gonna do for me? Huh? I don’t run a charity here.”
“I don’t know, I’ll pray more, read more, listen to more worship music…something, anything. Just please give me what I need!”
“Yeah, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll help you, maybe I won’t. You know that if I do help you, it’s gonna cost ya. Big time.”
Now of course, my prayers to Jesus don’t really sound like this. But at times I do approach Jesus with the subtle belief that he is reluctant to help me. That I have to strong arm him into giving me what I need. That he stands before me with his arms crossed.
But that’s not what Jesus is like at all. In John 15 Jesus says that he calls us friends. Stop and let that word wash over you. Friends. Not acquaintances, not co-workers, but friends.
My father-in-law Matt is my friend. When I ask Matt for help, he jumps to lend a hand. He is incredibly generous, lending me tools, time, and his expertise as an electrician (me and electricity don’t get along real well). I never have to beg or twist his arm because generosity flows out of him. He is a reflection of Christ.
Jesus calls me his friend, and his generosity is explosive. He invites me to ask anything in his name so that the Father can give it to me. He’s not stingy. He’s not a loan shark. Jesus delights to give and he wants us to ask in faith, believing that he wants to give.
Do you pray to Jesus like a friend or like a loan shark? He has mountains of blessings that he wants to pour out on you, but you need to ask in faith. Jesus calls you friend. Bring your needs and requests to your friend.