26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I am not telling you that I will ask the Father about you.
Jesus appears to emphasize that the prayers of the disciples to the Father need to be in the name of Jesus. Presumably the emphasis on this is to bring them to realize that living a Spirit filled life is essential in our praying. It is through submitting ourselves to the Holy Spirit living in us that we are able to be kept in line with the will of Jesus. In this way will we be able to ask the Father about the things that Jesus wants us to pray about.
The presence of the Holy Spirit within us, and listening to Him, means that we can avoid fruitless praying. It means that our praying is under the direction of Jesus. In this our praying is powerful and effective.
God’s word tells us:
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results – James 5.16 (NLT). Righteousness is brought to us by Jesus, living in us through the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps it is necessary for us to understand that Jesus is not saying that He would not pray for them, or for us. Instead He told them that they were to have the privilege of being able to go directly to the Father and make their requests known to the Father, requests that are under the direction of Jesus.
Jesus still continues to make intercession for us:
Therefore He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf – Hebrews 7.25 (NLT).
Therefore, we must continually make sure that our praying is in agreement with the intercession that Jesus is constantly making for us.
This requires us to be still and know God, to listen to the Holy Spirit so that we can receive from Him what is God’s good and perfect will for us, and pray that into being.
Paul put it this way when He wrote to the church in Rome:
Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect – Romans 12.2 (NLT).