“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” — John 15:7-8
Rodney “Gipsy” Smith (1860 –1947) was a beloved British evangelist who conducted campaigns in the United States and Great Britain. Thousands gave their hearts to Jesus during his almost 70 years of ministry. He was an early member of The Salvation Army and a contemporary of the great hymn writer, Fanny Crosby. Speaking on the subject of revival, he once offered this wisdom: “Find a piece of chalk, and find an empty room. Go into that room and shut the door. Draw a circle on the floor with that chalk, kneel down in that circle, and ask God to start revival right there.”
I love that illustration because I believe it’s what Jesus encourages His followers to do in relation to this instruction on prayer. “Stay where you are in Me and let My Word stay in you wherever you are” (my paraphrase). So saints, let’s “draw our circle” around these two verses and remain there as we learn how to pray in a manner that pleases our Lord.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you. The word “If” indicates that what follows is conditional, meaning certain things are expected to be met in order for the promise to be fulfilled. The original Greek text here speaks of continuous action. Literally it says, “If you continue to remain in me and my words continue to remain in you.” The word “remain” also means to “abide, dwell or live.” In other words, take up residence and live out your life in Jesus!
How do we do that? Let me recommend some steps, if you’re not doing them already. Make sure you read a portion of the Bible each day and memorize your favorite verses. Seek out and listen to good teachers. Take notes on the sermons you hear so you can meditate and share with others. Read sound books by Christian writers. Be sure and attend church on a regular basis and get involved in ministry. Join a Bible study or lead one. Above all else, be a man or woman of prayer and worship.
That sounds like a lot until you read these words of Jesus about being one of His disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24). Sounds like a full-time job doesn’t it? Exactly! But—powerful promises from God’s Word come as a result.
You may Ask for anything you want, and it will be granted. “Ask” is an Imperative Command. Simply put, it’s the exercise of one will upon the will of another. In this case, it’s the will of Jesus upon ours. He is charging us to do something—without question—and when we do we are given permission to, “Ask for anything.” When we are remaining in Him, we will know His will and always ask for those things that please Him.
When you produce much fruit you are my true disciples. “My true disciples produce bountiful harvests” (The Living Bible). Fruit comes in many types, sizes and tastes. The best place to look for a definition of good fruit is that which comes from the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
This brings great glory to my Father. Everything we ask God for should always be with the goal of bringing Him honor. “And then all of us can praise the Lord together with one voice, giving glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:6).
God loves our prayers—and He loves to answer them. When we are close to His heart in His Word, we understand what brings Him pleasure by knowing what to ask for. Pleasing Him should always be our goal (2 Corinthians 5:9,15). Why not ask Him right now, “Father, what can I do for you today?”
Next Monday: Principle Number Three: “Asking In The Name of Jesus.”