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04 May, 2013

Prevailing Prayer by Andrew Murray

   I Appointed You That Ye Should Go and Bear Fruit, and That Your Fruit
   Should Abide: That Whatsoever Ye Shall Ask of the Father in My Name, He
   May Give It You--John 15.16

   In the first verse of our parable, Christ revealed Himself as the true
   Vine, and the Father as the Husbandman, and asked for Himself and the
   Father a place in the heart. Here, in the closing verse, He sums up all
   His teaching concerning Himself and the Father in the twofold purpose
   for which He had chosen them. With reference to Himself, the Vine, the
   purpose was, that they should bear fruit. With reference to the Father,
   it was, that whatsoever they should ask in His name, should be done of
   the Father in Heaven. As fruit is the great proof of the true relation
   to Christ, so prayer is of our relation to the Father. A fruitful
   abiding in the Son, and prevailing prayer to the Father, are the two
   great factors in the true Christian life.

   That whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it
   you.--These are the closing words of the parable of the Vine. The whole
   mystery of the Vine and its branches leads up to the other
   mystery--that whatsoever we ask in His name the Father gives! See here
   the reason of the lack of prayer, and of the lack of power in prayer.
   It is because we so little live the true branch life, because we so
   little lose ourselves in the Vine, abiding in Him entirely, that we
   feel so little constrained to much prayer, so little confident that we
   shall be heard, and so do not know how to use His name as the key to
   God's storehouse. The Vine planted on earth has reached up into Heaven;
   it is only the soul wholly and intensely abiding in it, can reach into
   Heaven with power to prevail much. Our faith in the teaching and the
   truth of the parable, in the truth and the life of the Vine, must prove
   itself by power in prayer. The life of abiding and obedience, of love
   and joy, of cleansing and fruit-bearing, will surely lead to the power
   of prevailing prayer.

   Whatsoever ye shall ask--The promise was given to disciples who were
   ready to give themselves, in the likeness of the true Vine, for their
   fellow men. This promise was all their provision for their work; they
   took it literally, they believed it, they used it, and they found it
   true. Let us give ourselves, as branches of the true Vine, and in His
   likeness, to the work of saving men, of bringing forth fruit to the
   glory of God, and we shall find a new urgency and power to pray and to
   claim the "whatsoever ye ask." We shall waken to our wonderful
   responsibility of having in such a promise the keys to the King's
   storehouses given us, and we shall not rest till we have received bread
   and blessing for the perishing.

   "I chose you, that ye may bring forth fruit, and that your fruit may
   abide; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may
   give it to you." Beloved disciple, seek above everything to be a man of
   prayer. Here is the highest exercise of your privilege as a branch of
   the Vine; here is the full proof of your being renewed in the image of
   God and His Son; here is your power to show how you, like Christ, live
   not for yourself, but for others; here you enter Heaven to receive
   gifts for men; here your abiding in Christ has led to His abiding in
   you, to use you as the channel and instrument of His grace. The power
   to bear fruit for men has been crowned by power to prevail with God.

   "I am the vine, my Father is the Husbandman." Christ's work in you is
   to bring you so to the Father that His Word may be fulfilled in you:
   "At that day ye shall ask in my name; and I say not that I will pray
   the Father for you; for the Father himself loveth you." The power of
   direct access to the Father for men, the liberty of intercession
   claiming and receiving blessing for them in faith, is the highest
   exercise of our union with Christ. Let all who would truly and fully be
   branches give themselves to the work of intercession. It is the one
   great work of Christ the Vine in Heaven, the source of power for all
   His work. Make it your one great work as branch: it will be the power
   of all your work.

   In My name. Yes, Lord, in Thy name, the new name Thou hast given
   Thyself here, the true Vine. As a branch, abiding in Thee in entire
   devotion, in full dependence, in perfect conformity, in abiding
   fruitfulness, I come to the Father, in Thee, and He will give what I
   ask. Oh, let my life be one of unceasing and prevailing intercession!