I often go to God with big prayer requests — for family, friends, and anyone who needs His help. I believe God answers prayers and gives breakthroughs to His people when we come boldly to His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16).
But in John 15, Jesus points us to our relationship with Him as the starting point for prayer. Calling Himself “the true vine” (v. 1), He reminds us that we’re His branches. And branches can’t bear any fruit if disconnected from the vine.
In my busy, noisy world, I’m prone to blow right past this relationship with Jesus in my prayers. He stops me dead in my tracks with these words:
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (v. 7).
“Abide” is from the Greek word meno, which means to “remain or dwell.” We’re to make our home in Jesus, planting ourselves in Him and allowing His words to take root in us. This sets up the condition both for faithful living and for answered prayer.
When we abide in Him, we’re more likely to be praying His will. And I’m struck by the fact that Jesus uses the word abide 11 times in the first 10 verses of John 15. If I tell my kids something 11 times, you can bet I mean it!
Here are a few thoughts on what “abiding” looks like for me:
1. I carve out time to spend in God’s Word each morning. Then I try to keep in step with His leading and be alert to His whispers throughout my day.
2. I’m fierce with my Sabbath, taking a day off each week to rest, reflect, and abide.
3. I’m willing to let a few of life’s external things slide a bit in order to abide more fully in Jesus. Care of my soul has to become more important than caring for my image.
Jesus promises that when you practice abiding in Him, God will be glorified and you’ll “bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples” (v. 8). That’s the kind of life I want, don’t you?
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