The absolute, most important single act of the children of God is making space to encounter our heavenly Father in the secret place. Abiding in God is the foundation on which every other aspect of the Christian life finds success. It establishes roots which enable us to receive all that we need to bear the fruit of the Spirit. It guides us to constant refreshment and revival in God’s presence, thereby supplying and sustaining the abundant life God intends for us. My prayer is that you would be marked by wonderful, satisfying, and fulfilling encounters with the presence of God as we look at John 15:1-17 this week. Make room in your heart and mind to rest in the love of your heavenly Father as we look at the different ways we are to abide in the true vine of God.
Jesus makes us an almost unbelievable promise in John 15:7-8. Scripture says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” Jesus promises that if we abide in him and allow his words to abide in us, then we can ask anything we desire of God and it will happen. Clearly this is a vital passage for us to understand today. I believe that the Lord has fresh revelation in store for us if we will take him at his word and allow him to transform our understanding of what it is to petition our heavenly Father. So, let’s open our hearts and minds and allow the Holy Spirit to come and do a work in us today as we place our trust in Jesus’ word.
I have spent a large part of my Christian life praying without understanding how to pray. I used to view prayer as time for me to ask God for what I thought would be good and then wait to see if my circumstances lined up with my prayer. Then only through my circumstances would I know if God’s answer to my prayer was yes or no. Then I read John 15:7-8. Jesus clearly teaches a very different model of prayer than I had been experiencing.
Jesus’ model for prayer is abiding in his presence, abiding in his words, and then asking God for our heart’s desires. God desires that we would be so in tune with his heartbeat and so saturated with his word that our desires would be transformed into his desires. His plan is to fill us with the knowledge of his perfect will for our lives in the secret place so that we can pray and live wholeheartedly with full expectation that our heavenly Father will bring to fruition the desires he has placed within us.
Does this model of prayer line up with your life? Is your prayer life marked by abiding in him and his word first? Have you discovered the heartbeat of your heavenly Father? Do you feel as if you know how he feels about situations going on in your life? Are you so saturated with his word that it is transforming your actions, beliefs, emotions, and prayers?
Scripture says in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” And Deuteronomy 4:29 says, “But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” God longs for you to search out his heartbeat. He longs to reveal to you how he feels about you and every aspect of your life. He longs to transform your desires into his that you might desire and ask him for what is really best for you.
Asking God for something is meant to be as simple as abiding in his presence and word and praying in line with the desires he’s birthed in you. Discover today the wealth of desires he longs to share with you. Ask him to show you how he feels and thinks. Saturate yourself in his word. Allow the teachings of Jesus to transform your perspectives. And ask your heavenly Father to bring to fruition the desires he’s placed within you. May your desires be one with God’s today as you spend time abiding in the true vine of Jesus.
1. Meditate on Jesus’ process of prayer. Reflect on each phrase. Allow the words of Jesus to transform the way you view spending time with God and prayer.
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” John 15:7-8
2. Spend time abiding in the presence and word of Jesus. Ask him to reveal how he feels about situations in your life where you need his help. Ask him to show you how he feels about anything you are curious about! Spending time with God is meant to consist of conversation, questions, and response. Seek and rest in his heart and word today.
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3
3. After discovering the heartbeat of God and the teachings of Jesus, ask God for your heart’s desire in confidence! Petition your heavenly Father to bring to fruition the desires he is planting within you. Pray in line with the Spirit and Truth. Take joy in your heavenly Father’s desire to answer your prayer.
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:5-8
The Lord loves to answer the prayers of his children. He longs to give you every good and perfect gift. Trust in his goodness. Have faith that he will respond to your prayers in more magnificent ways than you could ever imagine. He is our loving Father, and he loves to bless us. Rest in his presence and word today, and allow him to mold and shape you into the image of Jesus.
Extended Reading: Matthew 6