Prayer and Abiding

The spiritual perspective that missionary Hudson Taylor referred to as “The Exchanged Life” reveals our personal inadequacy while also affirming our sufficiency in Christ (Gal. 2:20). Knowing that apart from Christ we can do nothing of God’s will, we rely upon abiding in Christ moment by moment. As Christ said to His disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Since abiding in Christ is the essence of abundant living, we must understand its implications. To abide in Christ involves trusting Him as Life, not depending on our own resources. One way we express this dependence on Christ is through prayer. In the same context of the vine and branches metaphor, our Savior teaches, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).

George Muller has inspired countless believers concerning God’s faithfulness in responding to prayer. Muller described the role that prayer should have in our lives: “Our very weakness gives opportunity for the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to be manifested. That Blessed One never leaves and never forsakes us. The greater the weakness, the nearer He is to manifest His strength; the greater our necessities, the more have we ground to rely on it that He will prove Himself our Friend. This has been my experience for more than seventy years; the greater the trial, the greater the difficulty, the nearer the Lord’s help. Often the appearance was as if I must be overwhelmed, but it never came to it, and never will. More prayer, more faith, more exercise of patience, will bring the blessing. Therefore our business is just to pour out our hearts before Him; and help in His own time and way is sure to come.”

After exhorting us to put on the armor of God, the apostle Paul emphasized the need of prayer: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:18).

May we daily abide in Christ through the fellowship of prayer, thus relying on the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit.

Father, teach us more of how praying to You brings us sustaining grace. Prompt us to cast all our anxiety upon You, because You care for us. In Christ’s name, amen.

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