Monday, June 15, 2015

Prayer II - Abide

"Abide" is such a fabulous old fashioned word.

There are some words that get lost in the folds of time. Their original punch seems forgotten in the modern vernacular. "Abide" is such a powerful bible word that is worthy of rediscovery. Its call is deeper than at first read. Jesus uses it eleven times in this text, so it is a big word in this teaching. (John 15)

John's gospel is loaded with the "I am's". He has an amazing ability to take us on a journey of the depth of his Jesus. He seems to highlight and draw attention to aspects of Jesus that the other authors are less focussed on.

John seems to have been the "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 21:20). This remarkable intimacy is further reflected when, at the last supper, John was "leaning against Jesus" (John 13:25). Surely then, this is the disciple we want to learn from. John's clear special place with Jesus, draws us close to hear about "abiding".

"Abide" is translated "Remain with me" (NIV), "Stay with me" (Aramaic Bible in Plain English), "Live in me" (God's Word), "Continue in me" (Weymouth New Testament).

I suspect prayer starts here. Before we get into the world of wonder and complexity of the various prayer forms, we are to engage in the simplicity of being "attached to the vine". Finding myself grafted in Jesus as the vine, is not simply a one off affair. Yes in salvation, being born again, happens once at the point of repentance and redemption. However, keeping my life flourishing in the vine, is a daily space of drinking and drawing from Jesus our source of God life.

Daily we can hear his voice. Daily we delight to sing his praise. Daily we can reflect on his scriptures. Daily we are privileged to remind ourselves of his promises. Daily we can enjoy the Father's presence of comfort, assurance, correction and affirmation. Daily the Holy Spirit can teach us, revealing the transformative truths of the text in our lives.

This is not a demand or a law, but a glorious privilege to spend time with the only true God, the All Mighty, Omnipotent God who is personal, intimate and who speaks to us! This is an honor we simply cannot ignore.

We all develop a unique devotional journey. Here is mine, if it helps:

For some 40 years now,
I wake up before the family,
Get my Espresso and Banana (I know, such a sentimental traditionalist)
Open my Journal and Write
(Record what he has done, what I have done - good or bad, what I need him to speak into)
Read 3 chapters  - 1 x The Law, The Prophets, The New Testament
I document the big verses / phrases that the Holy Spirit highlights - I am expecting the Father to speak to me - personal, family, pastoral, leadership, surprises, prophetically, correction, global gospel focus,
Then I pray... firstly for my family, then my community, followed by my global brotherhood and the church plants I have the privilege of working with, and the areas where I am weak and need him,
Then I praise... I do fall short on this one sometimes - busyness, distraction can keep my personal worship a little light, but I love worship. It refreshes me, restores and washes my soul and strengthens my spirit - making much of him and so much less of me.

I hope this helps.
"Abiding could really mean being totally devoted to him!"

1 comment:

  1. Great read! Thanx Chris, looking forward to the prayer series as I have just started on my in little journey of digging a bit deeper in prayer!