1. What is the author’s main point in this passage? (MAIN POINT)
The time is coming when the disciples of Jesus (us?) will be able to pray on Christ’s authority (in his name) and God (“the Father”) will hear those prayers and respond to them as if Jesus himself had uttered them, for Jesus’ sake, and because of the love the disciples have for Jesus.
2. What new light do I find in this particular reading of this passage of the text? (NEW LIGHT)
What struck me and I had not noticed before was the line:
I do not say that I shall pray to the Father for you, because the Father himself loves you for loving me, and believing that I came from God.
A genuine transfer of spiritual authority appears to be taking place here.
3. Is this passage true to my experience? (TRUTH)
As I have said before — I cannot bear witness to this truth in my life. Sometimes — in moments — like flashes of lightning on distant horizons. But not consistently. Nor often.
4. How does this passage agree with or differ from the beliefs or practices of other religious groups in my experience? (OTHERS)
There are groups which seem to bear witness to answered prayer often and consistently. This troubles me as they are groups that seem unspiritual in most other aspects of their faith and practice — though I have met folks of deep and abiding faith amongst them — so I must not judge too harshly. These are groups — too use the biblical language — strong in gifts and lacking fruits. Even though as I said I have known fruit-filled people amongst them.
5. What are the implications of this passage for my life? (IMPLICATIONS)
John’s Jesus tells me — nay — promises me that I can expect petitionary prayer to find an audience with God if I but trust in Jesus and believe he was sent by God. Surely the implication is to begin praying on that basis — or to walk away from the witness of John’s gospel.
6. What problems do I have with this passage? (PROBLEMS)
Many. Mostly in the implications and in the others questions above.