Abiding Joy-Powerful Prayer (v. 7)

Abiding Joy-Powerful Prayer (v. 7)

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MPS: God is glorified by those abiding in Christ. He secures them, answers their prayers, and gives joy. (15:6-11)

God answers the powerful prayers of those who abide in Christ. (7)

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Powerful prayers come from abiding in Christ. (7a)

Dependence upon, communion with, and obedience to Jesus are all aspects of abiding in Him. Abiding in Christ is impossible without prayer. Prayer relinquishes our self-determination and self-reliance by substituting it for God’s Will and His sustaining power for our lives.

When we abide in Christ through prayer we fully submit ourselves to Him putting all that we are in His hands. We leave no stone unturned, spare no sin, and keep no fleshly desire from the depths of our souls. We commit it all to Jesus in our prayers. When there is such radical abandonment of self we see the power of Christ’s work in us, through us, and around us. There is power in our weakness because our weakness displays God’s power.

Powerful prayers come from God’s Word abiding in you. (7b)

Not only is Jesus referencing His own teachings, but as the Word (Jn. 1:1) He also references all of Scripture. Emptying of self is critical to the praying life and powerful prayer. Just as critical to the powerful prayer is God’s Word abiding in our hearts. We are emptied of ourselves and filled with the truth of God’s Word. Our hopes, desires, and hearts are shaped by what we consume and we must be consuming the Word of God.

The Word of God is our lifeblood. If we were to be split open from navel to chest we would expect the very Word of God to spill out of us. Such a saturation of God’s Word in the believer results in prayers that have the power to overturn empires, bring healing, and see people come to know Jesus.

Scripture is the Word of God and is given to followers of Jesus for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness so that we are equipped for good works (2 Tim. 3:16-17). His Word is used to guide us and teach us. His Word emboldens us and is powerful as we proclaim it. We should pray the Word of God, speaking it aloud, and see it penetrate our hearts. The Word of God is alive and active; changing us from the inside out, saving the unbeliever, and rescues the world by revealing the Son. Our lives and prayers are fruitless and feckless without the Word of God.

Powerful prayer transforms those who abide in Christ. (7c)

Abiding in God’s Word is transformative in that it changes the hearts and desires of those who are abiding; we become sensitive to His leading. As we pour the Bible into our hearts it affects our prayers. These prayers will be Scripture saturated as we pour our hearts out to God and those prayers that are molded by God’s Word, spoken by God’s people will transform us in holiness and godliness. We will forsake our sin and embrace the eternal goodness of God. God uses our prayers to transform us to an ever increasing love and likeness of His Son.

If one is abiding in Christ and His Word abides in them then they will pray according to His will; their prayers will be pleasing to God. When our Lord says that our prayers will be answered He assumes that the prayers of His people will be those shaped according to the will of God. We are unable to trump God’s will, He is sovereign; He reigns over all and brings about His purposes in the manner that He likes. He is pleased when the prayers of His people align with His will. What is God’s will you might ask? God has a revealed will and hidden will.

God’s hidden will is that which we can’t know. He doesn’t tell us because we don’t need to know it. In fact in some part if we knew His hidden will it could become a stumbling block to us. God’s revealed will is that which is given to us in Scripture. What is God’s plan? To glorify His name by saving people through the redemptive work of Christ. That is God’s revealed will. But who might God save? Whomever He chooses, but He doesn’t provide specifics to us. That’s God’s hidden will.

So our hearts are transformed by God so that our hearts will seek after Him and desire Him. The Lord’s  Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 is the greatest display of this:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”-God is the object of our prayers and we declare His honor and glory.

10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”-Our hearts long for God’s will and reign to be done here in our lives and in the world around us.

11 Give us this day our daily bread,”-We trust in God’s provision and recognize that we are stewards of what He gives us.

12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”- We trust in God’s forgiveness of sins that come through His Son, but we remind ourselves that we are to forgive those around us. Forgiveness is the greatest gift in the world.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”- God help us overcome the falleness around us because without your help we are helpless.

Powerful prayers are answered. (7d)

God hears the prayers of His people. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” (1 Jn. 5:14)

God gives what is good for His people. “What father among you, if his son asks for[a] a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Lk. 11:11-13)

God gives wisdom, forgiveness, strength, and glorifies Himself through us when we ask in prayer.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (Js. 1:5) “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Ch. 7:14) (Php. 2:12-13)

Prayer is a powerful weapon against our enemies. John Knox who traveled multiple times in exile to Geneva in the midst of the Protestant Reformation worked diligently to steer Scotland towards the Reformed faith and away from Roman Catholicism. His Queen, who was a Catholic said,  “I fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the assembled armies of Europe.” (Mary Queen of Scots, 1542-1567) Scotland became the starting point for the Presbyterian Church. All Presbyterian churches, whether they’ve stayed to the faith or forsaken it for the treasures of this world, they can trace themselves back to John Knox. His prayers were answered.

 

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