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The demands and conditions of prayer to which God has pledged Himself to respond and answer. The New Testament contains several of these principles, and any one of them, if obeyed, will ensure that the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man prevails. The first requires that we pray in the position of abiding.
What does it mean “Abide in ME”
What is abiding? “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7, KJV). The Lord Jesus had told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come to them. “At that day,” He said, “ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:20).
The Father was His whole source and sphere of life. Jesus had not come of Himself, but had been sent by the Father (John 7:28). He had no teaching or words of His own, but spoke the words given Him by the Father (John 7:16). He could do nothing of Himself, only what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). His very life depended on the Father (John 6:57). He ever sought, not His own will or glory, but the Father’s (John 5:30).
To abide in Christ is to maintain in principle the same relationship toward Him that He maintained toward the Father. This means firstly, a life of submission in which we gladly consent to the limitations of “that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2). We accept a bondage which we find to be perfect freedom. We pray, “Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free.”
Then it must be also a life of renunciation of ourselves, our abilities, our resources. We have to come to the place of weakness and emptiness that His strength may be made perfect in us. He is the vine, we are the branches. The vine has everything, the branch has nothing. “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself . . . no more can ye” (John 15:4).
Finally, abiding involves a life of faith which looks to Christ for all, and finds its all-sufficiency in Him. Alongside the statement of Christ, “for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5), we must put Paul’s triumphant declaration, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).
The Saviour revealed that His was a life of faith in dependence on the Father, when He said, “I live by the Father” (John 6:57). But He also declared, “Because I live, ye shall live also” (John 14:19), and this requires the same attitude of faith that possessed Him.
The Word of God Abide in US.
His Words must abide in us: As well as abiding in Him, the condition requires that His words abide in us. These He had earlier described as “spirit and life” (John 6:63), that is full of divine energy and life-giving power. It is impossible to embrace those life-giving words without experiencing their spiritual and moral force.
Christ had to say of some, “my word hath not free course in you” (John 8:37, asv). They rejected both Him and His message, to their own eternal disaster. Others accepted the message joyfully, but did not allow it to root fully in their hearts, so that the new growth withered in the hour of persecution; or they allowed it to be choked by worldly cares, and so to become unfruitful. These received the Word, but did not allow it to abide in them.
There were those, however, who allowed His Word to make its home in their hearts, to take deep root, and to spring up in spiritual fruitfulness. His words had already begun to abide in them, doing their quickening and fertilizing work.
Paul view of Life “To Live Is Christ”
There may be different grades or degrees of abiding according to our spiritual understanding and development. The principle, however, does not change. When we can say from the heart, “To me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21), we are surely abiding in Him, and this gives us a position of authority with God in prayer.
So long as we fulfill the condition, as it is revealed to us, the Lord is pledged to answer whatever prayer we offer. So long as we abide in Christ, and His words abide in us, He can safely trust us when we come before him in prevailing prayer.
In His holy humanity the Saviour’s prayers were never refused by God, because He was ever abiding in the Father. “Father,” He prayed, “I thank Thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always” (John 11:41–42). Seeking neither His own will nor His own glory, but ever the Father’s, He had only to ask in order to receive.
We shall be trusted in the same way when we fulfill the same condition. When the Father knows that it will be in His interests and for His glory that a certain petition is fulfilled, He cannot but respond to it. Such petitions ever flow from the life that abides in Christ.
Prayer for Deep Abiding With My Heavenly Vine
1. Dear Father, Who art in heaven, thank You that You are my heavenly Husbandman and that You tend my life with such care and concern. Cleanse me and prune me, and take away anything that you discover in me that does not glorify Your holy name.
2. Thank You, Father, that I am a heavenly branch that is united to my heavenly Vine, the lovely Lord Jesus Christ. May His life flow through mine as sap flows through the branch that is engrafted into its parent stem. Fill me with His fullness so that I may live and move and grow and bear fruit as I abide more and more in Him. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper.”(John 15:1) Enable Me To Abide In Your Love
3. Dear Lord, I know that I am commanded to abide in You and I desire to live my life day by day, simply resting and abiding in You. Teach me Lord how to abide in You, so that all that is of myself will melt away as the Spirit of Christ pulses through my being.
4. Give me the strength to be a fruitful branch, for You alone are my sufficiency. Enable me to abide in Your love so that I may produce much fruit, out of the abundance of Your grace. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
“If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love.” (John 15:10)
5. Prayer For A Fruitful Life: Fill me, Father, with Your Spirit of the Vine, Christ Jesus my Lord. May I bring forth fruit, more fruit, much fruit to glorify Your Holy name. I pray in Jesus’ name, my precious heavenly Vine, Amen.
“so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing [to Him], bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10)
6. Help Me To Abide In You:Thank You, Jesus, that You are the Vine and I am a branch. Help me day by day to abide in You and to be fruitful in all I say and do. I know that without You I can do nothing, but I also know that as I rest in You I can bring forth the sort of fruit that is pleasing to the Father. I want to abide in You and rest in You and remain in You. Help me Jesus I pray, Amen.
“If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)
7. Teach Me To Abide In You: Oh, thank You Lord Jesus, my heavenly Vine, for the fullness of Your blessing towards me. I want to know and understand more and more of what it means to simply rest in You. May I abide in You, in sweet union with my Saviour and remain in blessed communion with You in ever closer intimacy.
8. Teach me, Lord, and train me to rest in Your love. Guard me and guide under the shelter of Your canopy, and reveal more and more of Yourself to me I pray, Amen.
“The anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie; just as it has taught you, remain in Him.” (1 John 2:27)