A message given to the Young People #1 last April 19, 2009
Text: John 15:5-8
Title: Abiding in Prayer
Introduction: There is only one way to overcome obstacles and that is through the Lord – Abiding in Prayer. Without Him we can do nothing.
THE author of the Fourth Gospel was the younger of the two sons of Zebedee, a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee, who resided at Bethsaida, where were born Peter and Andrew his brother, and Philip also. His mother’s name was Salome, the apostle and evangelist, John, seems to have been the youngest of the twelve. He was especially favoured with our Lord’s regard and confidence, so as to be spoken of as the disciple whom Jesus loved. He was very sincerely attached to his Master.
The date of John’s Gospel falls between A.D. 85 and 90.
Here we find the union of Christ and his members shown under the parable of a vine; The hatred of the world; The office of the Holy Ghost.
I. Prerequisites of Answered Prayer
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
We must have a heart that’s sincere and pure every time we approach God.
A. Abide in Him – v4-5
to abide means to to remain, sojourn, tarry, to continue to be present, to be held, kept, continually, to remain as one, not to become another or different, endure, stand,
Dr. Howard Hendricks tells of a small town in Texas where one year the school burned to the ground with the loss of more than 200 lives, because they didn’t have a sprinkler system. They began to rebuild after the initial shock had passed and called in the foremost company in fire prevention equipment to install a sprinkler system. When the new school was opened for public inspection, guides pointed out the new sprinklers in each room, to alleviate fears of another disaster. The school operated without incident for a number of years, then they needed to add on to the existing structure. As work progressed, they made a startling discovery. The new fire extinguishing equipment had never been connected to the water supply! They had the latest in technology and equipment, yet it was entirely useless!
John 15:5 – without me–apart, or vitally disconnected from Me – ye can do nothing–spiritually, acceptably.
John 9:33, Phil 4:13
for without me ye can do nothing; nothing that is spiritually good; no, not anything at all, be it little or great, easy or difficult to be performed; cannot think a good thought, speak a good word, or do a good action; can neither begin one, nor, when it is begun, perfect it. Nothing is to be done “without Christ”; without his Spirit, grace, strength, and presence; or as “separate from” him. Were it possible for the branches that are truly in him, to be removed from him, they could bring forth no fruits of good works, any more than a branch separated from the vine can bring forth grapes; so that all the fruitfulness of a believer is to be ascribed to Christ, and his grace, and not to the free will and power of man.
God without man is still God, Man without God is nothing!
Anything done in our own strength will fail miserably or will succeed ever more miserably.
How do we abide with Him:
1. Practice His Presence
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Spurgeon – Live near to Jesus, Christian, and it is a matter of secondary importance whether thou livest on the mountain of honour or in the valley of humiliation. Living near to Jesus, thou art covered with the wings of God, and underneath thee are the everlasting arms. Let nothing keep thee from that hallowed conversation, which is the choice privilege of a soul wedded to THE WELL-BELOVED. Be not content with an interview now and then, but seek always to retain his company, for only in his presence hast thou either comfort or safety. Jesus should not be unto us a friend who calls upon us now and then, but one with whom we walk evermore. Thou hast a difficult road before thee: see, O traveller to heaven, that thou go not without thy guide.
Under His wings I am safely abiding,
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild;
Still I can trust Him, I know He will keep me,
He has redeemed me and I am His child. -Cushing
2. Time w/ Him
What gets schedule gets done. We always have time for what’s important to us. Is God important to you.
You must have time in the Word and in prayer. This is a primary essential. A Specific time, place – your appointment with God.
1 Chro. 16:11
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
B. His Words must Abide in you.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
To meditate means to chew on it, to digest it.
To meditate means to have a mental, spiritual and emotional chewing on God’s word. Just as a cow chew grass and then swallows it to stomach number one for greater digestion and absorption so we need to allow time, energy and focus to be put on God’s word so that it has adequate time to renew, recharge and reconstruct our minds.
The indwelling of His words in them would secure the harmony of their askings with the divine will.
More than we need anything else (food, entertainment, technology), we need the Word of God!
God answers the prayer that He has promised. God will never answer a prayer that will contradict His Word!
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,
II. Possibilities of Answered Prayer – “ye shall ask what ye will…”
A. Begins with Asking –
LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
18 The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
1. Asking Specifically – Matt.7:7-11, Luke 11:9-10,
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Is your prayer answerable? Be specific.
2. In the will of God – through delighting
When you abide/delight in the Lord, His delights will become your delights. He will give you the desires because you have been close to Him.
souls being saved, men called to the full-time.
1 John 3:22
We ought to have an audience of one – the Lord Jesus Christ. He is Who we’re trying to please.
3. For God’s glory – Souls, then it is for God’s glory! – v8
B. Is Limitless (Immeasurable) –
3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Prove God! How big is your God!
Some people have a imaginary God – can’t perform great things.
III. The Promise of Answered Prayer – “it shall be done unto you”
A. Prayer Changes You – “done unto you”
2 Cor. 12:7-9, v10 (changed) 1 Cor. 15:10
Paul was a changed man. God didn’t take his trial away, but gave him the grace for the trial.
Sometimes God brings you back to the classroom for some doctorate studies where He teaches you that just being with Him, having His grace and His smile – is enough!
Prayer may not change the circumstance but it ALWAYS changes you in the midst of the circumstances.
The greatest lesson you will ever learn will not be learned in a classroom but on your knees in prayer!
2 Cor. 3:5
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
The Holy Spirit helps us with our prayers!
But more than you need the infirmity removed, you need to learn to be content in having the grace of God working in your heart and changing you!
B. Prayer (God) Changes Circumstances –
2 Kings 20:1-6
v4 – fast response from God!
God ALWAYS answers prayer for His glory!
Oftentimes, God’s delays are not God’s denials!
He’s just testing you whether you’ll persevere. It will also purify your motives.
Your greatest need is not an Answered prayer from God but the God of the answered prayer!
Conclusion: How long has it been since you talked with the Lord
And told him your heart’s hidden secrets
How long since you prayed how long since you stayed
On your knees till the light shone through
How long has it been since your mind felt at ease
How long since your heart knew no burden
Can you call him your friend how long has it been since you knew that he cared for you
How long has it been since you knelt by your bed and prayed to the Lord up in heaven
How long since you knew that he’d answer you
And would keep you the long night through
How long has it been since you woke with the dawn
and felt that the day’s worth the living
Can you call him your friend how long has it been since you knew that he cared for you