The Upper Room Discourse 57 Rabbi Michael Weiner
John 16:29-30 His disciples say, “See, now You’re speaking plainly and not in metaphors. Now we know that You know everything and have no need to be asked anything. By this we believe that You came forth from God.”
During the Upper Room Discourse, (which started with Yeshua and His disciples in the Upper Room, at the Last Supper, back in John 13:1) Yeshua has been doing most of the talking. Suddenly, the disciples chime in with their own comments. They acknowledge that Yeshua knows everything, and we know it too.
Then why do we sometimes (not all the time) act as if there are things Yeshua doesn’t know? Let me explain further … One of the great things about God is that there is one standard for righteousness, both for Him and for us. Not only are we subject to His Word, but God, Himself, is also subject to His own command.
If God were to break even one of His commandments, He would be holding us to a higher standard than Himself. God is saying to us, “Thou shalt not, because I shalt not.” We have errors in our ways. Not so with God. His kingdom will come to this earth, not the other way around. Read Psalm 19 for a better understanding of this (I love to sing it).
Psalm 19:8-11 The Torah of Adonai is perfect, restoring the soul. The testimony of Adonai is trustworthy, making the simple wise. The precepts of Adonai are right, giving joy to the heart. The mitzvot of Adonai are pure, giving light to the eyes. The fear of Adonai is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of Adonai are true and altogether righteous. They are more desirable than gold, yes, more than much pure gold! They are sweeter than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
What do the disciples mean when they finish by saying, John 16:30 Now we know that You … have no need to be asked anything. They are acknowledging that we don’t need to question Him by saying, “Are you sure?” We should never fall into the trap of asking, “Did God really mean what He said?” Or for another example, “How do You know?”
Isaiah 65:24 And it will come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear.
Because God knows everything, does that mean we should never pray? After all, pray is not to inform God, He already knows everything. So then, why pray? Let’s look at four types of prayer and why they are still important, even though God already knows everything.
Prayers of thanksgiving are certainly appropriate to the Lord God, who already knows everything. There is only one thing in heaven and earth that God has not already given Himself, the willing heart of a man (or woman). God wants to hear us being thankful toward Him. Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Secondly, prayers of confession are certainly appropriate to the Lord God who already knows everything. God wants to hear from us what we’ve done wrong. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Confession might not sound like prayer, but prayer is just talking to God. And while we’re at it, communication is not just one way. We also need to listen for His message of forgiveness. Listening is also part of prayer.
Thirdly, prayer includes worship. Does God need to hear our adoration of Him? He created the entire world (including each of us) so that we would praise Him. When we praise Him, we are fulfilling our God-given purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him. Hebrews 13:15 Through Yeshua then, let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips giving thanks to His name.
Lastly, but most commonly, prayer includes speaking our requests to God. Even though He knows everything, He wants to hear us turn to Him with the expectation that He alone will provide for our needs. Ephesians 6:18a Pray in the Ruach on every occasion, with all kinds of prayers and requests.
There is one verse that seems to sum all this up (so we can bring it to a close). Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything – but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the following verse describes the benefit of prayer. Philippians 4:7 And the shalom of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua.
We pray to (communicate with) God so He will hear and so we will hear Him. Communication is the foundation of all relationships. Unless we pray, we are fooling ourselves about having a relationship with God. Want to memorize 4 verses of Scripture by only speaking only 23 words? Let’s close with this. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 Rejoice always, pray constantly, in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Messiah Yeshua. Do not quench the Spirit.