“If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)
Yesterday, we focused on the importance of our continued trust in Jesus. We do not just trust Jesus to get into the Vine – we trust Him every day to “remain” in the Vine. That responsibility is ours – in response to God’s provision to us. And when we respond in faith, God responds to our faith with His faithfulness displayed through our lives (this equals fruit = God at work through us!).
In this continual trust in Jesus, we remain in Him AND His words remain in us. The natural product of life in the Vine is that the Vine puts the essence of Himself into us. The “sap” of the Vine permeates the branches (our lives!) and we take on the character and purposes of the Vine. Life in Christ produces Christ in us – and that life is the light of men (John 1:4). More than that, we find our own hearts aligning with the very Heart of God.
This is why Jesus offers us the amazing promise in our verse today. Those of us who have hearts after God’s Own Heart can “ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” This is at the center of effective prayer. As John has echoed: “If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us… we know that we have what we have asked of Him.” (from 1 John 5:14-15)
True prayer is never about getting what we want – true prayer is about giving God what He wants. It’s about God’s opportunity to show forth His faithfulness – and His faithfulness is displayed as His fruitfulness.
Though prayer is certainly our opportunity to share our thoughts and needs with God – ultimately, we are connected with Jesus to bring forth the desires of God, “on this earth as it is in heaven.” We are grafted into Him to be the means by which He does His work – and, according to John, He does His work in accord with His will.
Effective prayer is aligned with what God wants to do – and He connects with us to reveal within us what He wants to do.
This is no small thing.
We often view prayer as a last resort – when we have run out of our own resources, or when we find that our circumstances are just too big for us to handle. Then (and often, only then) do we turn to God for divine help.
What Jesus is telling us is that divine work is available for our everyday lives – God aligning our hearts with His, and our desires flowing from His Own. It is in that state, that our prayers hold real power. They are not our wishes begging for divine help. They are God’s wishes bringing forth divine display – they are fruit flowing from our hearts, our prayers, our divinely-inspired wishes.
John Wesley once said: “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” When we understand that true prayer is asking God to do what He wants to do, we can begin to understand what Wesley was saying – and about the fruit that comes through the whole act of asking God according to His will.
Prayer Focus: God, align my heart with Yours so my prayers will have divine power.