Abiding in Prayer

It is only by a full surrender to the life of abiding, by the yielding to the fullness of the Spirit’s leading and quickening, that the prayer-life can be restored to a truly healthy state.” – Andrew Murray (1828-1917), ‘The Ministry of Intercession A Plea for More Prayer’

All of us who are believers in Jesus Christ should be prayerful people. We are trapped in our physical selves for a time while our gracious guiding God chooses primarily to be spiritual. Communication between us is prayer and we would like our communication with our Heavenly Father to be effective, deep, and powerful.

Andrew Murray addresses the ‘healthy state’ of prayer in the chapter in the book referenced above, and gives us a simple yet complex key for opening that door.

The key is abiding in Christ.

John 15:4-10 (KJV): “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. {without me: or, severed from me} 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

ASV, ESV, NASB = “Abide”

AMP = “Dwell”

NIV = “Remain”

We must understand that the effectiveness and power of our prayer life is directly connected to how well our relationship with God through Christ is going. If we are distant from God, then our prayer life will be puny. If we are dwelling richly with God, then our prayer life will be powerful.

Now keep in mind that a ‘healthy state’ of prayer is not ‘I pray and God does what I want.’ The God of the Universe is no vending machine that you shake and let loose a bag of M&Ms. The major power of prayer is that you and I come in line with God’s purposes and His will… He changes us through prayer. We are able to face the day because He has filled our heart with His presence.

Healthy prayer comes from a life surrendered to God’s will, which we discover in His Word and confirmed in prayer.

Healthy prayer comes from abiding in Jesus through the power of the Spirit to live in holiness where we can hear God’s voice.

Healthy prayer comes from remaining in Christ and listening to the Word of the Lord to us… we don’t just jabber on, but we listen.

Do you feel as if your prayers are weak and bounce off the ceiling? Do you feel like God is not listening to your prayer? Do you struggle to even find time to pray?

The answer is to lean in to abiding in Christ. Read the Word regularly. Listen to the Bible on a Bible app as you go to sleep. Turn on Christian radio as you drive. Go to church. Fast. Tithe. Give away a prized possession. Give a couple of bucks to the homeless you keep driving by. Volunteer to serve at church and outside of church. Call that person you have been unwilling to forgive. Lean into living in Christ and living out the faith you profess and abide in Christ. You will then find prayer in a healthier state.

TMB

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