John 15:7 says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” What a promise! According to Spurgeon, this verse seems to imply that as long as you are abiding in Him He will give you successful prayer. He states: “[To those who abide] God will put His omnipotence at your disposal, putting forth His Godhead to fulfill the desires that His own Spirit has worked into your life.”
Moreover, I would conclude that to the degree that we abide in the Word, to that same degree we will have power in prayer. If we are not abiding in the Word at all prayer will have no power at all. If we abide in the Word some of the time we will have a little power in prayer. If we abide most of the time we will have much power in prayer. But if we abide all the time we will have unlimited power in prayer.
This power of course is ultimately the power to bring the requests we desire. That is the ultimate goal of prayer. But for prayers to be that powerful they must be nourished and strengthened along the way. Here are eight ways that abiding in the Word will nourish and strengthen your prayers so that they will be successful.
1. Abiding in the Word makes prayer strong in faith. Stage two of abiding, we said, was to hear and believe what God has said to us in his Word. Believing is just another word for faith. When we hear and believe God in His Word, as we abide, that is faith. And faith is the stuff that makes prayers. Hence, we can’t separate our abiding in His Word from prayer; for prayer is the natural outflow of faith, which is part of abiding.
When we become strong in faith as we abide in the Word our prayers also become strong in faith. This faith comes to us as a gift from God when we take the time to meditate on His Word and listen to His voice. The more we meditate on His Word and listen to His voice the more faith will be given to us; and it will stir our soul and spirit to prayer—prayer that believes God.
2. Abiding in the Word makes prayer more unified. When we abide in the Word God helps us to love Him and obey Him. Then God loves us; and Jesus loves us; and He shows us the love and unity He has with the Father; and the Holy Spirit helps us to understand how we too are united with the Father and the Son. Thus, the more we abide in the Word the more we are united with the Holy Trinity, making our prayers irresistible.
3. Abiding in the Word brings form to our prayers. As we pray, if we are abiding in the Word, God will bring His thoughts from His heart to our heart; and He will form His thoughts in words on our lips. Says E. M. Bounds: “The Word of God is a great help in prayer. If it be lodged and written on our hearts, it will form an out-flowing current of prayer, full and irresistible.”
4. Abiding in the Word makes prayer more spontaneous. When we are abiding in the Word and in Christ, prayer will be natural, ordinary, habitual, and very spontaneous. Says Spurgeon: “Souls abiding in Jesus open the day with prayer; prayer surrounds them as an atmosphere all day long; at night they fall asleep praying. They are able joyfully to say, ‘When I awake, I am still with Thee’ (Ps. 139:18).” This kind of unceasing prayer, which is commanded in the Bible (1 Thess. 5:17), comes from a heart full of the Holy Spirit, and from one who loves to be always in God’s presence. This faithful abider God will surely not deny.
5. Abiding in the Word makes us see the great need for prayer. It helps us to see our sinfulness, and to see that God is waiting to give us mercy and grace. Hence, abiding in the Word gives us a continual picture of a loving God, with arms wide, waiting for us to come to Him in humble prayer. And the more we receive His grace in prayer the more we are keenly aware that He has so much more to give us and that prayer is the channel through which it comes to us.
6. Abiding in the Word gives us liberty in prayer. Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish…” Now some may say, “Wait a minute! Whatever I wish? How can that be? But yes, for if you are fully abiding in Him you will desire only what is His will—His good and perfect will—nothing more, and certainly nothing evil. Then, when you, with great liberty, pray for anything you want, God will give it to you; for He has told us already in Psalms 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” What great liberty we have when we abide; and also, what power!
7. Abiding in the Word helps us to be content with weaknesses, which perfects our prayer power. In our abiding we understand that it is trials and our weakness that keep us dependent on God and strong in Christ, as they bring about in us perseverance and proven character. In our abiding, therefore, we find that we are well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties (2 Cor. 12:9, 10).
8. Abiding in the Word gives us answers to prayer. Jesus has given us the promise, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (Jn. 15:7).
This post is an excerpt from Prayer A to Z.