Abiding Produces Fruitful Prayers
JOHN 15: 7
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you”.
Jesus’ repeated use of the word abide ensures that His disciples, and believers throughout the ages get the message of the importance of remaining in continuous fellowship and communion with Him, recognising that without Him we can do nothing; it is all about total dependency on His sufficiency. The focus is on the believers which is in contrast with the previous chapter in which the focus is on Christ. Our union with the Vine and the pruning we experience are both Divine activities, however our abiding is OUR responsibility. Jesus drives that point home.
Jesus’ promise to answered prayers is not a signed blank cheque! It is conditional on us abiding in Him and His words abiding in us. For God’s word to abide in us, we cannot be satisfied with a head knowledge of it, but God’s word must richly dwell in us ( Col 3:16), so that it affects our daily living, causing us to walk according to the truth. Walking according to the truth and abiding in Christ are intimately tied together (1 John 2: 6). “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4). In that way when we pray, we will not ask amiss (James 4: 3) and the answer to our prayers will bring glory to our Father.
"Why is there so little power of prayer like this in our own times? Simply because there is so little close communion with Christ, and so little strict conformity to His words. Men do not ‘abide in Christ,' and therefore pray in vain. Christ's words do not abide in them, as their standard of practice, and therefore their prayers are not answered. Let this lesson sink down into our hearts. He that would have answers to his prayers, must carefully remember Christ's directions. We must keep up intimate friendship with the great advocate in Heaven if our petitions are to be granted" (Bishop J. C. Ryle).
Dearly beloved we are not physically present with each other because of the COVID restrictions and may not be able to encourage and love and stimulate each other to good works as we should. Despite this, are we continuing to abide in Christ and His Words? Let us not lapse in our DAILY ABIDING.