Saturday, August 23, 2008

Answered Prayer Part 1 - Abiding in Him

John 15:7-8

7If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
8When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine. (AMP)

What does abiding mean? Is that verse true saying that if we abide in God we will ask whatever we will and it shall be done?! I guess most of us don't abide in Him and His Word in us seeing as we do not see all that much prayer answered, let alone all of it in the church.

In Mark 16:15-18 I find an interesting scripture that seems to defy all normal Christianity these days. It reads:

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;

18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (NKJV)

Now may I ask you, do you meet all that criteria? Do you cast out demons, speak with new tongues, take up serpents, and lay hands on the sick and see them recover? Do you believe? I can tell you straight. I haven't done all of them!

It is rare to see anyone doing that in the church and when we do find someone that manages to do all of the above we idolize them, and put them on a pedestal. But Jesus said it was for the entire church. So regardless of what anyone else is telling you that you can and can't do: this is a criteria of believing God. Wow! That means that you can do it if you believe God.

Then the question is, 'Why aren't we seeing more of it in the church?' I guess the answer is: because we don't believe God, and we haven't realised that it is available for us.

I should mention here that I am not saying that if you don't cast out demons, speak with new tongues, etcera that you aren't saved.

What I am saying is that God says that this is available for you if you believe. It isn't just for super Christian with the wonderful ministry. It is for you!!!

So how do you access it? Prayer of course! That is why you ask God.

Hebrews 11:6 says:

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (NKJV)

God wants you to diligently seek Him!

Tell me, what is eternal life? Did you answer knowing God? How do you get to know God? (John 17:3*) By diligently seeking Him. (In prayer.) Prayer is not about some religious ritual. Prayer is about a relationship with God, and talking to Him, speaking with Him, asking Him things, and listening to Him.

As you learn to shut out some of the other voices in this world that scream for your attention and listen to Him you will learn of Him. Bring yourself to the Lord and surrender your day to Him. Whether it is just starting, or it is half way through, or finishing He still wants your day. He wants you. All of you. So bring yourself as a living sacrifice and ask Him to speak to you, and be with you.

Perhaps the hardest thing you will need to do is quieten yourself. Sometimes I find it helpful to read a book of prayers and just reflect for a while. Another thing you can do is read a passage out of the bible and reflect on it. Being somewhere you won't be disturbed will make it easier for you. If you are having trouble ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Remember that is what He is there for. :D

* John 17:3 And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent. (AMP)