For our new year, let’s talk about prayer.
In those things-we-need-to-do lists or New Years resolution lists or how-to-be-a-better-Christian lists, we often couple “prayer” along with “studying your Bible” and rightly so.
We know in our heads that prayer is essential to healthy spiritual life. But… like so many things in our lives, we may fail to prayer effectively, regularly, or even pray at all.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
In other words, our job in His kingdom work is to be fruit bearers, but we can’t bear healthy fruit (or any fruit at all) without abiding or remaining in Him—attached to the vine, our source of strength. While there are many components to drawing our strength from Him, one of the major elements is prayer.
I’m talking to the choir, aren’t I? You know all this. I know all this. It’s just the consistent doing and deepening, isn’t it? Our branch can get so dry, so withered, barely clinging to the vine.
Perhaps your prayer life is fervent and vitally active. Your branch is plump and full, brimming with fruit because of the way you are communicating with the Father, trusting the Son, and guided by the Spirit. Praise God. Your ministry is alive and active.
Many are coming to know the Savior because of your influence. Your branch is bearing the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness kind of fruit he wants you to have. We rejoice with you.
But some of us struggle either with not having powerful, productive prayer, or remaining faithful in prayer, or praying at all. Life crowds in, activities take priority, or our prayers feel more like duty than joy.
Our “need to” or “want to” has fizzled out.
Quite honestly, when life is moving along at a relatively good pace, we often become slack in fervent prayer. We can become more engaged when we hit those set backs and realize all over again our great need for the Father to intervene.
But unless we are “prayed up” as some like to say, we may be at a loss as to how to get reconnected to the vine. When catastrophe comes, we end up with “if You will do this, I’ll do that” kind of prayers.
When we have tasted deep, agonizing prayer: jubilant, victorious kind of prayer, or cleansing, life-changing, tear-producing kind of praying, we know what we’re missing and want it again.
So this month, let’s explore where we are, where we can be, and how to get there. I would greatly appreciate your input, testimonies, and questions as we focus on growing our branches through prayer.
~ Joyce ~