Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
This week I want to write on the conclusion of John 15:7-8. In many ways these are the most important words in these verses, as I suppose I can say about everything I have written on this passage.
“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.”
I am not sure why many translations read as this one, that by this we prove we are disciples. In this case the wording in the King James Bible better reflects the wording in the original language of the New Testament. “So shall ye be my disciples.” There is a two fold “if” clause at the beginning of verse 7. “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you.” Everything in the passage hangs on these conditions. By abiding in Jesus, His word dwelling in us we can ask whatever we wish and it will be done for us. Verse 8 gives the results of such prayer. God the Father will be glorified, our lives become fruitful, and we will be disciples of Christ.
The crucial truth here is that you cannot sever prayer from discipleship. I am sure there are people who do not know God at all for whom God has answered prayer. But that is certainly not the point of this passage. Prayer calls for the fellowship of discipleship. We are to live in fellowship with God immersing ourselves in His will and His word. His word refers to the final words of Jesus recorded John 14-16. It also includes every word of Jesus recorded for us in Scripture. It must even include every inspired word of God in the entire Bible. God's word must shape our lives.
This promise of prayer directs us to the purpose of discipleship. If our lives are driven by our foolish selfishness, the full power of prayer would be horribly dangerous for us and everyone around us. But as we learn to live in Jesus, God will be glorified and we will be blessed by the fruitfulness of our lives. The very next words in this teaching of Jesus read,
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
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