Here’s a simple one-verse solution on how to get your prayers answered:
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)
To understand how to abide in Christ Jesus and have His words do the same, we need to look at how Jewish rabbis discipled their followers in the days of Jesus and His apostles. You see, discipleship was a long established institution within the Jewish culture long before our Lord was born. Jesus even said:
“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40)
There were no Bible schools or seminaries in Jesus’ day. So, if a man wanted to learn the Torah, he apprenticed himself to a rabbi (revered one or master) and became the rabbi’s servant. The bond between the rabbi and student was often stronger than that of a son and father.
The student left everything behind to follow his master. He slept with the teacher, ate with him, even dressed in the same manner, and tried to absorb every nuance of his behavior. He wanted to be an exact copy of the teacher down to the minutest detail.
As far as teaching and learning, there were no text books. The student had to memorize the rabbi’s words verbatim through constant repetition so the words could be repeated to subsequent generations.
Not only did the student do all this, but he also learned how the teacher followed the commands of God, how he kept the Sabbath, fasted, prayed, gave to charity, and so forth.
Every part of the student’s life was immersed into his rabbi.
The next time you study the four gospels, notice how Jesus followed this same practice with His twelve apostles.
Okay, okay, okay…before we throw our hands in the air, thinking how impossible this abiding might be for us. Remember that Jesus chose and invited us to abide in Him. Our responsibility is to agree with His word and ask, “Lord, teach me how to abide in You?”
It’s His responsibility to teach us.
(Continued in Part 7…if you’re interested, the full series to date can be seen here.)