Thank For the Joy is Abiding in Christ
Top 7 Bible Verses About Answered Prayer
Here are my top seven Bible verses about prayer or praying.
John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
What does Jesus mean by saying we must abide in Him and only then may we ask whatever we wish? We know enough of the Bible to understand that we must pray according to the will of God. The Greek word used for “abide” is “menō” and this means “to remain” or stay with.
The Apostle John wrote that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) or “tabernacled with us” (Greek “skēnoō”) which reminds me of the tent in the wilderness where God dwelt among His people in the tabernacle.It’s where we get the word “adobe” or “home” or “dwelling” from and the word adobe means “a brick of mud and stray.” These materials closely resemble those used by the Israelites under their Egyptian bondage where they made bricks, but later without straw provided.
The major point is if we abide in Jesus’ words, and that means in the gospels where His words are recorded, but no less than the whole Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, we can ask whatever we wish that is also according to God’s will.
First John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
The Apostle John seemed confident that God would answer our prayers but he added that “if we ask anything according to his will he hears us,” meaning that we can pray for things but if they’re not a part of God’s will, He won’t answer that. In the strictest sense, He will answer it with a “No” or “not yet” or “that’s not my will” so finding out God’s will can help us to receive answered prayer and God’s will is revealed in the Bible. To know God’s will we must know God’s Word.
Psalm 66:19 “But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.”
The psalmist was completely sure that not only did God listen to his prayer but that He attended to the voice of his prayer, meaning that God answered it. How can we be the psalmist and believe that “truly God has listened?” Again, we must know the will of God in order to pray for His will to be done and to find the will of God you must find a Bible.
1st Samuel 1:27 “I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.”
Hannah was so desperate for a child that she would often go to “the doorpost of the temple of the Lord” (1st Sam 1:9b) for she “was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.
And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head” (1st Sam 1:10-11).
Hannah was childless and that was a sign of shame in Israel so imagine Hannah’s joy when she could finally say “prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him” (1st Sam 1:27).
Psalm 118:21 “I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.”
I heard of a man several years ago who was giving thanks for his prayers being answered but the interesting thing was, he gave thanks to God for the answered prayer for the ones that he had just prayed! I thought, how could he know that God had answered them already? Didn’t he have to wait to see how it turned out first? No, because even though this man’s answer was answered immediately received, even with no evidence of it, he understood it could be “No,” “Not yet,” or “I’ve got something better for you.” He trusted the Lord enough to know that God’s “No” is always best for us and it usually so we won’t hurt ourselves or others. No good father would give their child whatever they wanted; a knife for example.
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Jesus taught us to be the man I just wrote about, as far as having believed that he received an answer already.
Jesus doesn’t tell us how long it will take to receive whatever we were praying for but that you simply have to believe it’s been answered.
This is assuming, as we have written before, that this prayer is according to the perfect will of God. Prayer must be for the will of God which means it must for the glory of God.
Psalm 116:1 “I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.”
Whether you are in great need or in great suffering, cry out to Him. The psalmist would have believed what Jesus taught in Mark 11. He must have had the confidence of the Apostle John (1st John 4:5).
And the psalmist must have believed my friend did (in the second paragraph above). They all knew that God heard them.
They all knew that God had already answered them, so that kind of attentiveness and benevolence that the Father displayed caused them “love the Lord” a child his father and so it should make us do the same.
Jesus tells all of us to “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt 7:7). A lot of Christians are not that different from the psalmist because they can both say, “The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer” (Psalm 6:9).
The Apostle John was completely confident about answered prayer (1st John 5:14-15) so do “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6).
Today, many nations are in trouble but God’s promise to Solomon is the same to any nation or people that “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2nd Chron 7:1) however if you aren’t abiding in Jesus’ words on a daily basis, His Word is not abiding in you every day (John 15:1-11).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.
6 Ways to Abide in God
To abide in God, to take Him as our dwelling, is one of the highest truths in the Bible. Many know that it is revealed by Christ in John 17, but did you know that Moses spoke of it as well? Yes, in his last prayer in Deuteronomy 33:27, repeated in Psalm 90:1, he says “O Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.”
Isn’t it amazing that an Old Testament saint could see this high truth? He even saw that it is a corporate matter, a matter for a body of saints, not just for one individual, as indicated by his use of the plural “our.” And it is a present perfect continuous tense, “You have been,” indicating an action in the past continuing up to now, such that during our entire life here on earth, we should be those continually living in God.
In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus used the word “abide” (John 15:4-5)—“abide in Me.” Other words in the New Testament point to this truth: the preposition “in” (John 14:20 and many places), the word dwell (Gk. oikeo, taken from the noun for house) (1 Cor.
3:16), and to deeply dwell (Gk. katoikeo, with a prefix meaning to an excessive degree) (Eph. 3:17).
May we all progress from merely occasionally being in God, to more often abiding in God, to dwelling in God for longer periods, to deeply dwelling in God for our whole life!
How can we practice this? The following are six ways:
The first way to abide in God is to eat Christ as the hidden manna. The hidden manna is first mentioned in Exodus 16:32-34, which according to Hebrews 9:4 was placed in a golden pot, which was placed in the ark, which was in the Holy of Holies within the tabernacle of God.
This special portion of manna, the children of Israel’s daily food, was kept aside as a memorial, and lasts forever. In Revelation 2:17 it is mentioned as the promise to the overcomers.
Only those who overcome have such a special, hidden enjoyment of God, not the common kind that all people enjoyed together.
How can we have such a hidden enjoyment of Christ as our food? By spending personal, intimate, private time with Him every day. Our enjoyment of God must be more than in the meetings of the church. It is the private prayer and fellowship with God that cements the word we have heard into an eternal memorial within our being, and even more as a treasure within the house of God.
Second, abide in His word
The second way to abide in God is to abide in His Word (John 8:31). We have His constant word in the Scriptures, and His present word from the Spirit in our spirit. We must not come to the Bible without also coming to Christ (John 5:39-40). The more we come to His word, the more the Word should become His instant speaking to us day by day, guiding us to live in Him.
The best way to learn to abide in His Word is to pray-read the Word of God, that is, to use the Bible as the inspiration and source of our prayer (Eph. 6:17-18). This practice helps us to use our spirit to touch the Spirit in the word. Don’t live a day without pray-reading the Word, even just two verses.
Third, speak in Him
If we allow His word to abide in us, we will have something to speak to others unto the building of His house (1 Cor. 14:4). The apostle Paul declared in 2 Cor. 2:17 that “we speak in Christ.” In my experience, the more I speak for Him, in Him, the deeper I myself move into God.
Fourth, always rejoice, unceasingly pray, and in everything give thanks
This fourth practice to abide in God is from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:
“Always rejoice, Unceasingly pray, In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
It’s one thing for God to say His will for us is to rejoice, pray, and give thanks; it’s so much more for Him to say always rejoice, unceasingly pray, and in everything give thanks. It’s easy to rejoice, pray, and give thanks once a week at a church meeting, but the modifiers in these verses refer to a practice that involves our entire human living, all day, every day.[A good way to remember to do this is to sing these verses. You can find one tune at Hymnal.net and click the link: Tune (Midi)]
This is the most practical way, I’ve found, to remind me to abide in God.
It means even to rejoice when things seem bleak (for we always have God with us), to pray at all times, even while we are driving or studying a textbook, and to give thanks for everything, even when we are poor, hungry, or imprisoned (cf. Acts 16:23-25).
We should look at all circumstances, environments, and even all persons as set by God for us to learn to dwell in Him. This is the “good” that all things work for as mentioned in Romans 8:28.
Fifth, bear much fruit
This fifth way to abide in God is both a method and a result. The more we bear spiritual fruit (John 15:8), the deeper is our abiding in God; the more we abide in God, the more we bear fruit.
This fruit is both the virtues and characteristics of God expressed by us (see Gal 5:22 and note) and also those whom we bring to salvation and offer to God (see John 15:16 and note).
Helping those whom we bring to the Lord to remain is a long-lasting labor that requires that we abide in God.
Sixth, care for His presence
The last way to abide in God that I’ll present here is to care for His presence.
After the Lord’s death, when he appeared and disappeared to His disciples, He was training them to care for His invisible presence, the presence of His Spirit within them (John 20:26; Acts 1:3, 26 and notes).
Since He breathed the Spirit into us when we believed in Him (John 20:22), He is with us all the time. It’s just that we too often forget He is within us, and live as if God is far away.
Sometimes we want Him to go away; other times we just live by our habits and not by His guiding from within. What He wants is that we would not ignore Him, but rather, consult Him in everything, caring for the One who is inside of us. By doing so, we deepen our dwelling in Him, from just paying attention to Him during meetings to all the time, in everything.You may have noticed that most of these practices on how to abide in God have to do with His abiding in us. That’s right, for the abiding is a mutual abiding: “Abide in Me and I in you” (John 15:4). We need to allow Christ’s abiding in us to move from a fact that we know to our practice of allowing Him to live us, which is our abiding in Him.
“Lord, teach me to abide in You. I want to progress from having You in me, to having me live in You. To do this, Lord, keep me contacting You. Don’t let me slip away from spending private time with You. Keep me in Your Word every day, even pray-reading it.
Lord, increase my speaking for You; may I say as Paul did, ‘I speak in Christ.’ Lord, I want to bear much fruit, and I want to care for Your presence, even for the smiling of Your face. Lastly Lord, remind me to call on Your name, to always rejoice, to unceasingly pray, and to give thanks in everything.
May everything remind me to abide in You.”
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What Does It Mean to ‘Abide in Christ’?
Happy Friday to everyone. Today’s question comes from Kasey in Oregon. “Dear Pastor John, I have been a Christian, a Bible student, and a Bible teacher for many years. But I sometimes find myself a little puzzled and — if I’m honest — a bit disquieted by John’s teaching on ‘abiding.
’ In particular, I think of the opening of John 15 and much of the material in the letter of 1 John. It provokes many questions for me.
For example: How does this relate to the doctrine of perseverance? And does this mean that, in some sense, it is up to ME to keep me in God’s family? Could you give a brief, APJ-length overview of John’s theology of abiding in Christ?”
This is huge. I mean the challenge to give a theology of abiding in ten minutes. Let’s see what we can do. I’m going to sum it up from John 15. Let’s just go there with six points.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
” (John 15:1–4)
First, I think the essential meaning of our active abiding is the act of receiving and trusting all that God is for us in Christ.
If a branch remains or abides attached to the vine in such a way that it is receiving all that the branch has to give, then that is a picture of what John means by believing or trusting Jesus.
He says in John 1:12, “To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
Believing is a receiving of Christ into the soul, welcoming him, trusting him, as it were, drinking and eating and savoring him. This is what he says in John 6:35: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
Believing is an attachment to — a coming to — Jesus, and a receiving from Jesus. It is trusting in Jesus, remaining in fellowship with Jesus, connecting to Jesus so that all that God is for us in him is flowing a life-giving sap into our lives. That’s number one: abiding is believing, trusting, savoring, resting, receiving.
Cherishing His Words
Second, Jesus gets very specific about what is flowing between the vine and the branch. He mentions words — his words — his love, and his joy.
John 15:7 says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” And John 15:9 states, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
” Also, John 15:11 says, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
“If we are not united to the vine, nothing of any lasting value will come from us.”
Abiding in the vine means receiving and believing and trusting in the words of Jesus. It means receiving the love of Jesus for the Father and for his people and the joy that Jesus has in the Father and in us.It means sharing the joy, the love, the words with Jesus.
This is very similar to Paul in Galatians 3 and 5 saying the fruit of the Spirit is love and joy as we hear and trust the promises of Christ (Galatians 3:2; 5:22–23).
Third, nothing of any spiritual, eternal significance is possible apart from this abiding in the vine. John says, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
In other words, we are not dealing here with something marginal or optional. If we are not united to the vine so that Christ’s life is flowing into us, then his words, his love, his joy will be utterly and totally barren. Nothing of any lasting value will come from us.
Our Fruit Confirms Us
Fouth, abiding proves whether the attachment to the vine is coursing with life or is merely artificial and external.
Here’s John 15:8: “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
” Fruitfully abiding with life, love, and joy coursing into us through the connection between us and the vine proves we are disciples (John 15:7–8). That is, abiding and fruit-bearing confirm us.
The negative is also true. John 15:6 says, “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” Earlier (in John 15:1–2), John says if anyone doesn’t bear fruit, he’s taken away.
Can We Lose Our Salvation?
Now this is what provokes Casey’s question about perseverance or eternal security. Can we be born of God — can we be authentically, in a living way, united to Christ and truly Christian — and lose our salvation? Now, In John’s understanding of abiding, the answer is no. No we can’t. I say this for two reasons.
“The essential meaning of our active abiding is receiving and trusting all that God is for us in Christ.”
First, in John 10:28–29, he says, quoting Jesus, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them the Father’s hand.
” He is bending over backwards to say, “When I choose someone for myself and they hear my voice and I take them to be my sheep and my children, that never changes.”
Here’s the second reason I think John means this, and it’s the answer to what in the world is going on with broken-off branches.
I think 1 John 2:19 is a description in the church of what it means that certain branches are broken off.
It says, “But they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued” — that is, remained or abided — “with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”
I think John provides us with the category for understanding a kind of superficial, external attachment to Jesus that is not a saving attachment. This can result in a fruitless, empty life where there’s no sap coursing, and they are broken off — that is, fall away from the church — but they never were of us.
Fifth, the branches are being cared for both internally by the life of Christ flowing into us and externally by the vinedresser who prunes us. This is amazing.
I didn’t see this until just a few years ago, when I preached on this at one of the conferences. Jesus says in John 15:1–2, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
“When God chooses someone and they hear his voice and he takes them to be his children, that never changes.” Now pruning means cut. The branches are being cared for (to make them maximally fruitful) both by internal life flowing to us from the vine and by a vinedresser, who with his very painful scissors or saw cuts us and hurts us, so that by these painful providences in life we experience the fullest possible impact of the inner life of Christ.
We are being cared for both internally by Christ’s life coursing into us by the Spirit and externally by the providences of a loving Father who knows how to discipline his children to make them very, very holy.
The Glory of God
Finally, the goal of abiding is the glory of God. John 15:8 says, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” The whole design of our not being the vine, but being utterly dependent branches grafted into the vine, is to give glory to God.
The whole design of depending on a vinedresser to manage the outward shape of our vine structure and our branch structure is so that God gets the glory for bringing it all about. The bottom line is, hour by hour, let us receive and rest in and trust and savor and enjoy Christ’s word and love and joy while we submit externally to the merciful providences of God.
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