“If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask what you wish and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:7-8, NASB).
R.A. Torrey speaks to this text in his delightful little book How to Pray. He names two conditions for answered prayer. The first is to abide in Christ and the second is for Jesus’ words to abide in you. With the first, Torrey looks to the context, which is Jesus’ illustration of a vine and branches. Branches have no life of their own, but receive life only as the sap of the vine flows through the branches. The branch can’t live independently of the vine. Jesus tells us then not to pursue an independent life, but rather, in Torrey’s words, to: Give up trying to think our thoughts, or form our resolutions, or cultivate our feelings and simply and constantly look to Christ to think His thoughts in us, to form His purposes in us, to feel His emotions and affections in us. It is to renounce all life independent of Christ and constantly to look to Him for the inflow of his life and the outworking of His life through us . . . [this way] our desires will not be our desires, but Christ’s; and our prayers will not in reality be our own prayers, but Christ praying in us.
–Taken from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka (Click on the title for more information on this resource).
Holy Spirit, give me strength to stay attached to the vine, even when life is difficult. Form Your purposes in me as I surrender my thoughts, actions and will to Yours.
Praise God for the depth of the riches of his wisdom and knowledge (Rom.11:33). Give thanks that “from him and through him and to him are all things” (11:36). Confess times of thinking that God owes you favors or explanations (11:35). Commit yourself to thinking deeply about God until you come to the end of your ability to understand. Ask God to help you reach that point with wonder and amazement rather than doubt or cynicism (11:33-36).
Pray that God will help all believers to be students of his ways with eyes to see and minds to understand more of his caring control. Ask that God’s kingdom will soon come in fullness.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend (Click on the blue title for more information about this resource).