Faith is that element in abiding that I think is most dominant. Also, it is that element that ties all the other parts of abiding together, for we cannot meditate on the Word, bear fruit, obey God’s commandments, or please Him without faith.
Here are eight things that the abiding Christian does to build his faith in order to keep him abiding:
1. He makes it his habit to meditate on the Word every day. This daily meditation time helps him to see things from God’s perspective, gives him a desire for God, and helps him to adjust his desires to God’s desires.
2. He obeys God and keeps himself busy with His work. The abiding believer knows that faith isn’t really faith without obedience and work. In fact, he is convinced that his faith is perfected by obedience (Ja. 2:22). Therefore, he is always diligent to listen to God as he prays, so that he can do everything He tells him to do.
3. He commits himself to holiness. He is not one to merely obey God’s commands as an obligation or duty. He seeks, rather, to please Him in everything, working hard to get to know Him and what He desires of him. He especially tries to keep himself pure and holy, a vessel fit for His use.
4. He believes and prays without doubting. The abiding Christian is not like the waves of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. He is strong in faith and prays without doubting. And as a reward for his faith God grants his request (Ja. 1:6-7; Heb. 11:6).
5. He prays according to God’s will. He always prays according to Bible promises and according to how the Holy Spirit confirms His will to him. Therefore, he prays with a strong will and with great confidence that he will receive God’s answers (Read 1 John 5:14-15).
6. He prays specifically. The abiding Christian always prays specifically, not generally—because he is always seeking and expecting an answer for a specific need. Therefore, he exercises great faith, and as a reward, God is pleased with him and grants his requests (Heb. 11:6).
7. He prays earnestly. Earnest prayers are fervent, desperate prayers—prayers that are repeated over and over again. They could possibly be misinterpreted as pagan prayers: those that are made repeatedly with the intention of impressing God or others with mere words (Matt. 6:7).
When the abiding Christian prays repeatedly, however, he is not meaning to impress anyone with his words, nor does he pray out of fear or obligation. His prayers are made with great sincerity and determination, and often with fasting because of some great burden the Holy Spirit has laid upon him.
God is always pleased with the abiding believer’s earnest prayers—so much so that He rewards him by building up his faith so that he can pray with even more intensity, and thereby receive the answers he desires. James 5:16 says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
8. He prays together with other believers. A few days before Jesus ascended into heaven, He prayed for all believers that they would be made perfect in one, just as the Father and the Son are one (Jn. 17:22-23). This indicates to me that all those who truly abide in Jesus, also abide in fellowship with other believers. The abiding Christian, therefore, is not a loner. He is knit together in fellowship with a body of believers who do things together and pray together. And because they practice praying together in unity and agreement, they experience God’s awesome power and are often delighted by the answers He brings them.
Matthew 18:19-20 says, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”