The Life That Can Pray
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. —1 John 3:18-24
Here on earth, the success of someone asking a favor for another depends entirely on his character and the relationship he bears to the person for whom he is interceding. What he is gives weight to what he asks. It is no different with God. Our power in prayer depends on our lives. Where our lives are right we will know to pray as to please God, and prayers will secure the answer. The Scriptures quotes above all point in this direction. “If ye abide in me,” our Lord said, “Ye shall ask...and it shall be done unto you.” It is the prayer of the righteous man, according to James, that avails much. We receive “Whatsoever we ask,” John said, because we obey and please God. All lack of power to pray correctly and perseveringly, all lack of power in prayer with God, indicates some lack in the Christian life. As we learn to live the life that pleases God, God will give us what we ask for. Let us learn from our Lord Jesus, in the parable of the vine, what the healthy, vigorous Christian life is and how it may ask and receive whatever it desires. Hear His voice: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” And again at the close of the parable, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (John 15:16 KJV).
What sort of life, according to the parable, must we lead to bear fruit and then to ask and receive whatever we desire? What must we be or do that will enable us to pray as we should and to receive what we ask for? The answer is in these words: the "branch life" gives power for prayer. We are branches of Christ, the Living Vine. We must simply live like branches—abide in Christ—then we will ask what we will and it will be done unto us.
- Am I living a life that could be considered “abiding?” What evidence do I have to support this?
- What prayers of mine are unanswered? Are there obedience issues in that area of my life?
Heavenly Father, thank You that You always hear me when I pray. I thank You that You don’t always answer my prayers so You can show me things You see in me that I don’t see in myself. Help me to see more of those things You want to change in me so I can live an abiding life and experience true power in prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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