Dear brothers and sisters,
Let’s look at a passage of Scripture that gives us two amazing promises that God will answer our prayers! And not only does God promise to answer us, but He is so kind and gracious that He tells us exactly how this is going to happen. With such great promises from God, we ought to pay close attention to this glorious and familiar passage of Scripture.
First, the passage………….
“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 does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, or the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
What a beautiful metaphor Jesus gives us of our union with Him! Jesus Christ is represented as the True Vine who gives us (his branches, i.e. Christians) life and sustenance. As we abide in Jesus, we are sustained, strengthened, and remain in covenant relationship with Him. As Christians, we have a life-giving connection with the Creator of the universe. Let that sink in for a while. And let us never forget the vital, and daily, significance of abiding in Christ. While it is God who keeps us in the faith through our union with Christ, by virtue of His indwelling Holy Spirit, He uses means for us to abide in Him. Things such as: reading and meditating on His Word and being obedient to what we read, drawing strength from prayer, being sharpened by fellowship with the saints, the preaching of the Word, and the Lord’s Supper.
There would be no salvation, no progress, in fact no answered prayer, apart from union with Christ. Union with Christ is vital, as we are continually dependent upon Him for everything, and can do nothing ‘apart from Him’ (v. 5). And speaking of answered prayer, take a close look at verses 7 and 16 in context. We see a direct correlation between our abiding in Christ, and receiving answers to prayer. John 15:7 reads, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” No doubt…..this involves a sanctifying growth process, and these kinds of prayers don’t just happen overnight. They involve a daily growing in the knowledge of our Savior and His character. The more we know Him, the more we will love Him. And the more we know and love Him, the more we will pray for those things that grip His heart.
Let’s remember a couple more important things here. God’s choosing to give us what we pray for doesn’t happen because He is ever obligated to answer us, or because of anything we do. Every answer to prayer is a gift from Him to us. But what we see in this passage is that, by remaining in Christ, our prayers become more God-centered, and less me-centered. The conclusion we see in John 15 is that, as we grow in our dependence upon God and in our knowledge of Him, more of our prayers will reflect God’s own desires and purposes, and will be answered! (see also 1 John 5:14, John 14:13-14)
All true Christians will abide in Christ, and none will ever be lost. It is not for reason of our own strength or doing that we abide, but it is His work in us. But we can experience greater degrees of joy, fruitfulness, and answered prayers, as Christ teaches us here. Let us grow in our knowledge of Christ and His will, and have our prayers shaped by such knowledge. May God bless you as you seek His face in prayer!
Thank you so much for reading my blog! Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-: God bless you, and have a great day! — Jamie