Monday, October 31, 2016
Friday, October 21, 2016
In this passage, Jesus says if we keep connected, and his words remain in us, we can ask for anything we want, and God will grant our requests. Part of bearing fruit is praying, and God answering our prayers. God will listen to us, and do as we ask. But there are two conditions to this promise.
One, remaining connected. We have discussed this quite a bit. Have a practice of focusing and opening your heart to God. Allow God to reach in, healing, loving, and growing what is in our hearts. Allow the Spirit to dismantle sinful, wrong, and hurtful defenses that we erect to deal with painful experiences in life.
Two, keep ahold of Jesus’ words. In part, this means having a practice of receiving input from the Word. Reading. Meditating. And many would say, memorizing. Which is an obvious method of keeping Jesus’ words in us.
People, who practice memorizing Scripture, often testify to being in situations, not knowing what to do, when a passage of Scripture pops into their minds, providing appropriate action. Often, action that is contrary to standard wisdom, but it fits perfectly into this situation. These people say the Spirit can remind us of the most appropriate Scripture passages, if the Scripture is already inside our heads.
But these disciplines are intended to incorporate God’s word into our lives. (Please do not interpret this as, in any way, criticizing, or somehow negating these practices.) We do not want to create a religious practice, but to create an existential experience. The spirit and the Word will make the life of Jesus, our life. We will think the way he does. We will act the way he does. His motives become our motives. His passions become our passions.
So, when we pray, we are, by nature, by habit, seeking to create in the world, the reality God wants to create. We are flowing with God’s will, God’s desire for restoration. We will be motivated to conform ourselves to God’s image. We will desire god to have freedom to move in people’s hearts all over the world. We will want everyone to have a relationship with god, and experience his love. And we will pray to that end.