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You may be familiar with the word about praying in the will of God in 1John 5:14-15.

“And this is the confidence that we have towards him, 

that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 

And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, 

we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

I remember a time when I showed my spiritual immaturity thinking this verse takes away the entire point of prayer. I can receive what I pray for, if I pray for what God wants me to pray. As we grow in Him, we begin to see more clearly that the best that can happen through prayer and in our lives is for God’s will to be done. God transforms our hearts to desire what will truly satisfy. Growing in Him teaches us to seek and pray for things that are His will, but will not come about until we ask Him. 

John 15:7-8 effectively applies 1 John 5:14-16. John 15:7,8 reads,

“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.”

Intermittently in the next few weeks I intend to post blogs on the keys to prayer in this passage. It is important to see this in the entire context of John 15. Verses 4 and 5 set the stage for this passage. Jesus said,

“As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, 

unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, 

bears much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.”

The first word in John 15:7 is, If you abide in me.” This is a call to plant our lives in Him. We can live in continual fellowship with Jesus. We depend upon Him like branches depend on a vine. As we do this God begins to think His thoughts in us, and to love and work through us. The second clause in the sentence is, (if) “my words abide in you.” These two phrases are connected. We cannot do either one of these without the other. Prayer and fellowship with God are anchored to His word. Do you read God’s word everyday? Do you memorize Scripture? We should memorize from God’s word everyday. This leads to meditating on His word and His will. 

Many years ago we moved to a farming community in Texas. The most influential man in that community had recently died. I lived and pastored the only church in the area for years. And I never stopped seeing positive effects from that man’s life. His widow once told me a regular practice of his. Every morning as he read his Bible he would choose something in scripture to run through his mind all that day. What God did in that man's heart affected the whole community.

As we saturate our lives in God through His word, we set the stage for powerful petition.




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