26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;
Considering verse 25, where Jesus said that the apostles would have greater clarity of understanding after the resurrection, they should pray in Jesus’ name. This is the fifth and last exhortation to pray in the upper room discourse.
26 In that day
“That day” was when the Holy Spirit would come to launch the church at Pentecost by His permanent indwelling.
you will ask in My name,
The reason that the apostles would have direct, personal access in the church age to the Father was that they would come to Him in the name of Jesus (Jn 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:24). They would be able to approach God in prayer because of the finished work of Christ on the cross.
and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;
Jesus clarified a possible misunderstanding on the part of the apostles. The apostles might have thought they could not pray to the Father except in Jesus’ name because the Father would be indifferent to them otherwise. The idea here is that the Father indeed loved them from His own volition.
The apostles would have their own capacity to relate to the Father in the coming new day. Jesus did not imply here that He was reluctant to pray for them. The intercession of Jesus was not necessary for the Father to grant the apostles’ prayer.
Praying in Jesus’ name is no mechanical means of conveying communication to the Father.
Christians have the privilege of open communication with the Father simply because we have come to believe in Jesus.
We have both the privilege of the Father’s ear and the intercession of Christ on our behalf. So long as we have an Advocate, we have direct communion with the Father in Jesus’ name. Should fellowship with God be interrupted by sin, then Jesus’ advocacy needs to kick into action (Ro 8:34; 1 Jn 2:1).