7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. –John 15:7
The vital connection between the word and prayer is one of the simplest and earliest lessons of the Christian life. As that newly-converted heathen put it: I pray-I speak to my father; I read-my Father speaks to me. Before prayer, it is God’s word that prepares me for it by revealing what the Father has bid me ask. In prayer, it is God’s word strengthens me by giving my faith its warrant and its plea. And after prayer, it is God’s word that brings me the answer when I have prayed, for in it the Spirit gives me to hear the Father’s voice. Prayer is not monologue but dialogue; God’s voice in response to mine in its most essential part. Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine. `Incline thine ear, and hear;’ `Give ear to me;’ Hearken to my voice;’ are words which God speaks to man as well as man to God. His hearkening will depend on ours; the entrance His words find with me, will be the measure of the power of my words with Him. What God’s words are to me, is the test of what He Himself is to me, and so of the uprightness of my desire after Him in prayer.
It is this connection between His word and our prayer that Jesus points to when He says, `If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ The deep importance of this truth becomes clear if we notice the other expression of which this one has taken the place. More than once Jesus had said, “Abide in me and I in you.’ His abiding in us was the complement and the crown of our abiding in Him. But here