Why Prayer is Necessary: #5 – To Obtain Fullness of Joy

Jesus said in John 16:24, “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.” 

The teaching here is that when we ask in His name and receive the things we ask for, the result, after receiving those things, will be a fullness of joy.  And I suppose you could say that our joy will come in degrees.  To the degree that we recognize that God has answered our prayers, to that degree we will receive joy. The person who doesn’t realize that God has answered his prayer may have a certain amount of joy just because he has received what he wanted.  But the real and full joy is a joy that comes from knowing absolutely that God has answered our prayers.

R. A. Torrey has said, “When we ask something definite of God, and He gives it, how real God becomes!  He is right there!  It is blessed to have a God who is real, and not merely an idea.”3  Yes, it is a joyful and real experience when God reaches down in love, and gives us what we ask for.  It is the joy of experiencing His presence.

In Psalm 16:11 David wrote, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; in thy right hand there are pleasures forever.”  Though David here is mainly speaking of the joy that comes after this life, we can know that same joy now whenever we experience His presence—which will surely come to us with the realization that He has answered our prayers.

This I think is the whole point of prayer—to have the joyful realization of His presence.  It is what God intended for us.  Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (Jn. 10:10b).  He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6).  It is God’s purpose for us to have this abundant life, which is found in Jesus, and can only be gained when we call out to Him in prayer.  Prayer then is the key to obtain this life—life that produces for us a fullness of joy.

3 R. A. Torrey, How to Pray (Chicago: Moody Press, n. d.), p. 16.

Joy in Doing It Right

I’m not a carpenter; I’m a painter. But every once in a while, I am required to do a little carpentry work along with the painting job. Well, it just happened that in the job I’m doing now, there is this area on the exterior siding that needed some desperate help. It needed to be torn out and redone because of water damage. At first, I was going to try to find someone else to do it; then I said, no I can do it; I’ll figure it out.

As I began to tear out the old rotten wood, I told the client, “I think I will just tear out the rotten part half way up and put a new piece in and patch it.” She (the client) had her doubts about what I was intending to do and said, “Won’t it show?” But I said, “No problem, I’ll make it look good—perfect, like new!”

So, I finished tearing away the old wood, and the next day I was going to buy the wood I needed and patch it up. But that evening I kept hearing her words in my head, “Won’t it show?” I was sure I could make it look perfect, but maybe a year later it will begin to show a line there. I began to think about tearing out the whole thing—redoing all of it. Would it really be that hard? The more I thought about it—about doing it right—the more confident I felt about it, especially since I was planning on buying this multi-tool to speed up the process.

I went to sleep that night with a God-sent peace about it, and I was sure that I would and could do it right. I got up the next morning early and headed for Home Depot to get the materials I needed, then to the job site.

I had no trouble, with my new muli-tool, tearing off the old siding. But when I got it off, I noticed that it was thicker than what I had bought. I bought ¼-inch plywood and what was on there was 11/32-inch plywood. I could use what I had bought and no one would know the difference. But then, almost immediately I decided to go back to Home Depot and exchange it for the thicker stuff. The trip took an hour out of my work time, but it was worth it for the peace it gave me—because I was doing it right!

Cutting the wood to fit and installing it took only a couple hours; and it looked great. Through it all, I not only had achieved peace, God gave me a great joy, and I was praising Him for it. I hope I remember this lesson for the future. It doesn’t pay to cut corners. But doing it right will pay great rewards.