Abide, and pray

The call from Jesus to abide goes out to all His disciples, all true believers.  We know we are truly His by the witness of His Spirit dwelling in us. His Spirit is the One and Only true Comforter, and is the Spirit of Truth, and He wields a powerful sword: the Word of God.  We ought to cherish the promise that as we come to Him, He teaches us, and gives us wisdom that is not available to those who are not united to Christ. In Christ is hidden our life (who we really are, who He created us to be, eternal life) and all mysteries and knowledge.  And His Spirit is faithful to teach all of us who gaze at Him, who abide in Him, who come seeking and thirsting.

God is love, and if we abide in Him we can know love.  Apart from Him we have glimpses, tainted by flesh and worldly experience.  Love is not a construct of our own; we have no “right” to tweak it or redefine it.  We know love chiefly by the cross. If we gaze not at the cross, if we linger not at His feet, we do not know love.  Nor do we have a firm grasp on the truth. Western minds try to separate and compartmentalize everything and anything.  Jesus taught His disciples that we cannot separate truth and love, they are found inseparably in Him. When we seek Him with heart, soul and mind–we find Him; and this is eternal life–knowing Him!  When we take our preconceived notions and declare they are true because we think they just ‘make sense’, we miss Him, and all He has to offer.

Jesus’ last words to His disciples, words that remain and call out to all true disciples, emphasized the call to abide in His love and His words  (John later writes about this as abiding in truth and love in his three epistles). Then, and only then, comes the reassurance that we can pray knowing He hears and acts.  We pray amiss when we do not pray from abiding.

Prayer from abiding in His words will feel different to our souls, than prayer that stems from dwelling only on circumstances and presenting Him with our demands or desires.  So sit in His words, linger there, journal them, and let Him teach you how to pray. And pray with ceasing, giving thanks for His faithfulness, His constant presence, His firm grasp on you, His pledge to be your protector, your refuge, your provider.  Pray in light of His glory and grace, rather than in the rat-race to secure your own separate glory. Pray delighting in your union with Christ, and all that flows from that relationship (eternal redemption, righteousness, promises and hope).    “To Him be the glory forever and ever! Amen!” (2 Timothy 4:18b)

This has been a meditation based on John 10, 13-17; Ephesians 1-6; Colossians 1-3; 1 John 1-4; 2 John; 3 John; 1 Corinthians 2; 1 Thessalonians 5; Nahum 1.

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