In John 15:7 Jesus says, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
We abide in Christ through God-dependence and Christ abides in us through Spirit-enabling (John 15:4-5). Jesus says if we abide in Him and His words abide in us, we will pray in a way that receives answers. Faith (God-dependence) comes by hearing and hearing by the word or specific truth of God (Rom. 10:17). We abide in Christ by depending on Him based on His words. He abides in us through enabling us according to the truth we are depending on. This is how His words abide in us.
When we experience our union with Jesus through abiding, what we ask is really what He desires. That’s why we can ask what we will and it will be done. When we abide, He abides. When He abides, it’s I live, yet not I, but Christ. Therefore, it’s also, I pray, yet not I, but Christ. When we pray in union with Christ’s will, the answer will be given.
If we start off as best we know yet unsure of God’s will, the Holy Spirit redirects our prayer according to God’s will (Rom. 8:26-27). Paul, who was abiding, was redirected in this fashion (2 Cor. 12:7-9). As we depend on the Spirit to guide, He does so that we pray in God’s will. When we pray in God’s will, God answers.
Abiding, asking and receiving answers. What a privilege for every child of God.
John Van Gelderen