September 6, 2019
Prayer: Lord may we abide in You with constant contact.
Scripture: (Jesus speaking) I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
John 15:1-7 NAS
An entire book could, and probably already has, been written based on these few verses in John 15.
Jesus begins by addressing Himself as the “true vine.” The Old Testament refers to the Israelites as a vine planted by God that was ultimately unfaithful and unfruitful, an example of this is in Psalm 80. In John 15, Jesus is stating that He is the true vine, who has come to redeem those who cannot redeem themselves – all of us. The overarching theme of these verses is to “abide.” The Oxford dictionary defines “Abide” as 1.) to live, dwell 2.) to continue without fading and 3.) to act in accordance with. So Jesus is telling His disciples (including us) that we are to dwell and act in accordance with Him. A branch receives its life’s nourishment from the vine; if the branch is severed, it will die. What does that mean to you? What does that look like in a believer’s life? How often are you aware of your union with Jesus? Is there a conscious need or awareness of your constant contact? What do these Scriptures say about your prayer life as a branch? Did you have to go back and look for that answer?
Verse seven says that if we abide in Him, and His word abides in us then whatever we ask will be done for us. The key here is in the answers to the earlier questions. What does it mean to abide? It means we are constantly seeking to be connected to the Lord; to know His thoughts and ways, to know what delights Him by studying His Word and practicing His precepts. The more His life flows through us, the more our prayers reflect His will. Abiding means we dwell in agreement with Him, and that brings about mountain-moving, power-filled prayers.
Many people; good, Jesus-loving Christians, do not set aside much time for prayer. Many Christians profess to pray for less than four minutes in a day. It is probably not for a lack of wanting to pray as much as it is a lack of knowing what to say. Over the course of this year it is my goal to not only encourage you to pray but to also teach you how to grow your prayer time into a prayer life.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org