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Abiding in Christ...

posted 26 Sep 2011, 04:35 by Matthew Key   [ updated 29 Sep 2011, 03:46 by Oxford Prayer Room ]
One of our regular prayer roomers' shares his testimony...

A few months ago, I was prompted by some friends to explore the idea of getting more involved in prayer and intercession. I have previously had a few hang-ups with this idea, especially because of unanswered prayer, but I decided to explore it anyway. I prayerfully read around the subject of petitionary prayer, which lead me to a revelation that I would like to share in the hope that it will be an encouragement to all who read it.

My revelation started with a few stern exhortations: Jesus states several times (in John 15) that we will receive anything that we ask for, given that we abide in Him. But do I really abide in Him? I was convicted by this passage that the honest answer was no, at least not to the extent that He commanded me.

The first book of John 5:14 tells us that we will receive whatever we ask for, providing that it's God's will. But do I always ask within God's will? I'm sure that my Father wants me to have life to the full, but what if He prioritizes my abiding in Him above my physical health or financial success? Surely it would be hypocritical of me to expect minor blessings as I reject greater blessings?

James 4:3 throws a light on the fact that a person's attitude and motivation is very important for petitionary prayer. So what if I don't abide in God and I petition blessings for my selfish gain? I know of many occasions where I wanted 'good' things for selfish purposes.

These three realizations humbled me and were difficult to accept, but that's not all - there was a fourth that really struck me! Jesus tells us in Mark 11:24 that faith is very important for prayer, and yet I lack faith, partly because I know that I often ask with the wrong attitudes.

This realisation was a real eye opener for me. I realised that I hadn't done all I could to seek God, and I was convicted that I was lacking in the fruit of the Spirit and being complacent with it. Not only have I been missing out on receiving my petitions, but I have missed out on the personal satisfaction of intimate relationship with God!

A few months down the line, I have been through a journey that I can't fully describe here, but which has left me spending more time with God in faith that His presence brings joy, and as a result, time spent with God now brings me unquenchable joy! In seeking His will I have gained wisdom that lead to remarkable success in many areas of my life, especially work, finances and relationships. As I grew in faith, His Spirit brought me peace and freed me from fear... and it all started with humbly seeking God! So with this testimony, I would like to encourage you to embrace a lifestyle of seeking God and seeking to abide in Christ. The Kingdom of heaven is described in Matt 13:44 as a treasure so valuable that it's worth all we have. I can certainly testify that as I sacrificed my time and other priorities to seek God, I have been blessed with treasure more valuable than anything that I have previously asked for. God has no favourite children and He loves us all the same, so I know that He can do the same for you.