Many Christians wish their prayer lives could be more consistent and effective. The good news is there are certain things we can do to improve our communication and connection with God—to make our prayer lives far more fruitful.
For example, one prerequisite is that we abide in Jesus. Look at how many times Jesus uses this word in John 15:1-7 (emphasis added)…
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
Kenneth Wuest (1893-1962) was one of the foremost Greek scholars of his time. He translated the word abide as “to maintain a living communion.” So verse 7 above could be translated, “If you maintain a living communion with Me, then you will ask what you desire, and it will be done for you.”
Just like a branch must be joined to the vine and share in the same life if it’s to be fruitful, we need to stay in fellowship with God if we want to see Him answer our prayers. You can’t live like the devil Monday through Saturday and then come to church on Sunday and expect to have a fruitful prayer life! You need to maintain a living communion with Jesus.
And I’m not talking about something ritualistic or something mechanical. It’s pretty simple. Throughout your day, look and listen for God. Acknowledge Him throughout your day. Read your Bible. Talk to Him. Be expressive in your gratitude for Him. And don’t neglect going to His house.
Now, I’m a pretty simple guy. I like to take prayer walks. And so sometimes in the evening I’ll just go out for 45 minutes or so, and I’ll just talk to God. I’ll speak in tongues, I’ll get quiet, I’ll acknowledge Him, I’ll thank Him for the blessings in my life. I’ll ask, “God, is there anything that You want to say to me?”
I take prayer rides, too. I’ve got this beach cruiser bicycle that I ride around (I typically take it out for about an hour.), and I pray while I’m riding my bike. When I get over to the beach, I’ll walk it out on the sand, and I’ll spend 20 or 30 minutes out on the sand standing next to my bicycle, looking at the water, just praying, talking to God.
It’s not mechanical. It’s not ritualistic. I don’t feel like God is going to be mad at me if I don’t do it, it’s just what works for me.
Jesus said, “Abide in Me, abide in Me, abide in Me, abide in Me. Maintain this living communion. Let Me pour into you. Then if you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask what you desire, and it will be done.”
So abiding with God is a prerequisite to having a more fruitful prayer life!
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