How would you like to be able to ask the Father for whatever you need and then receive it approximately 98.6% of the time? Why 98.6%, rather than 100%? Sometimes, the Father has special plans for our situations, which He does not reveal to us ahead of time.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16)
The answer to having 98.6% of our prayers answered is for us to bear long-lasting fruit in ourselves. I believe the fruits refer to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, righteousness, truth, and holiness.
Now, every believer has often heard about the different fruits of the Spirit, so why aren’t we walking in them?
“Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. (Mark 4:18-19)
Jesus taught the Parable of the Sower to a large crowd by the Sea of Galilee. Most of this particular teaching fell on deaf ears, but He did explain it in depth to His disciples.
Jesus told His disciples the seed that was sown was the word. The word was sometimes sown on trampled down paths, which Satan was able to easily steal before it took root. Other times, the word was sown on rocky soil and the roots could not go deep enough into the shallow soil to support fruit.
But then, there was the thorny soil where the light was good, the moisture perfect, and the soil deep. Yet, no fruit was produced because the “cares of this world, the deceitfulness of [earthly] riches, and the desires for other things [on earth] choked the word.” All of the nutrients were being used to grow thorns, and not fruit.
And to be honest, this is where most of us American Christians are stuck: in thorny soil.
For us to reach new heights in our prayer lives, we are going to have double our efforts on trusting the Lord to handle our cares, to turn away from earthly riches, and to reckon ourselves dead to any desire other than pleasing Him.
Can we achieve this?
(Conclusion for now…if you’re interested, the full series to date can be seen here.)