“Until now you have asked nothing in my name.
Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
The disciples had asked things of God, but they had not learned to ask in Jesus’s name. This was new for them. Followers of Jesus must learn to pray in Jesus’s name.
To pray in Jesus’s name does not mean to tack his name on to the end of a prayer, like a magic formula to make your prayer valid. Rather, to pray in Jesus’s name is to come to a holy God through the blood of Jesus, and it means we pray the same sorts of things that Jesus would pray.
To pray in Jesus’s name is to pray Christ-centered, Christ-focused, Christ-enthralled prayers. My will means nothing, Christ’s will mean everything. My glory means nothing, Christ’s glory means everything. When we pray this way, in the name of Jesus, then those prayers will be answered.
So ask. Ask freely. Ask without hesitation. Ask. This is Jesus’s repeated call to you: ask, ask, ask. Don’t get to heaven and find out you could have had so much more if only you had asked. “You do not have, because you do not ask.”
And why does Jesus want you to ask? For your joy. That’s how good God is; he is zealous to give you as much joy as you can hold. You must see God as wanting your deepest joy. C.S. Lewis wrote, “The ultimate purpose of God in all his work is to increase joy. Joy is the serious business of heaven.” Similarly, Dorothy Sayers remarked, “The greatest sin of the Christian is to be joyless.” And Julian of Norwich said, “The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of His love.” God wants you to experience full joy.
So ask. Ask freely. Ask for the glory of Jesus, and the Father will grant it. He will grant it so that you have joy.