Friday, July 4, 2014

2 Keys to Answered Prayer

2 Keys to Answered Prayer

Ever wonder why some people seem to have Jesus answer a lot of their prayers, while others live a life of unaswered prayer? This devotion is a follow up of my previous blog on prayer. It is the next step. And for this one, I am leaving it in a deeper format because the words here really grab my attention. I wanted to leave the Greek here so that you can get a taste of how deep God's word can be, even at a moderate level. So pull up a coffee, sit back, get contemplative, and enjoy...

Ean meinhte en emoi kai ta rhmata mou en umin meinh” -Jn. 15:7

Ian meinete en emoi kai ta remata mou en umin mein.

1. meinhte en emoi (IhsouV)
2. ta rhmata mou en umin meinh

o ean qelhte...aithsesqe kai genhsetai umin!”

These words are pronounced-
1. “meinhte en emoi” (IhsouV)- meinate en emoi (Jesus)
2. ta rhmata mou en umin meinh- ta rema ta mou en umin meine

ha entheletA...aitAsesthe kai genAsetai umin!

These are the two conditions (it is a condition, based on the form of the Greek word ean. You have to study Greek in order to understand that this is conditional.) of answered prayer.

But what does “en emoi”, what does “en” mean in this context? What does it mean to “meinhte en IhsouV”?

I think of Judas son of Iscariot, who did not remain in Jesus (meinhte en IsouV), but betrayed Jesus and left. I compare that to Peter who DID remain in Jesus (meinhte en IhsouV) and bore much fruit.

I think of those who go their own way and Jesus' words do not remain in them (ta phmata mou en umin meinh), like the religious leaders of Jesus' day.

BUT, what does this remaining in (meinhte en) Jesus & His words reamining in you (en umin meinh) look like today when he is in Heaven?

We see that Jesus also says that we are to be in (en) him like he is en us. It seems that this has to do a close relationship, to stay close to one another. The word meinhte, remain, also means to abide, stay, dwell, continue, be present, tarry, be held, kept, continue to be, endure.

My mind immediately goes to a time after Jesus left his disciples by dying but then rising from the dead. His disciples were out fishing on the Sea of Galilee and when they came ashore, Jesus was squatting by a small fire and cooking them some fish for breakfast. They came to him, and sat around the fire talking and listening to him. This is a great picture of what it means to abide with Jesus and Jesus with us.

My mind goes to the conversation of Jesus as he ascended to be with the Father. He said, “I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” How can Jesus be with us when he has gone away? What does this mean? The relationship was diffent, in that you could no longer physically stand shoulder to shoulder with Jesus, the person. BUT even greater, though sometimes harder, is that He abides IN us. In fact, the entire God-head, is in us: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Spirit are in us like Jesus is in the Father.

My mind goes to Jesus saying, “I and the Father are ONE”. They were PHYSICALLY not shoulder to shoulder, but yet they were together.

My mind also goes to the cross, where Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Did the allpresent Father become non-all present at that time? I don't think so. What I do think is that Jesus sensed the relational wall that we often face, as Jesus became sin for us.

Jesus is SPIRITUALLY with us and inside of our PHYSICAL bodies, in our soul (whatever that is). The God-head leads us, comforts us, gives us wisdom, nurtures us, and completes us while we stay close to him and remain relationally connected (on our part) to him.

So what does this look like?
1. Remain in Jesus, close to Jesus; just like Jesus did with the Father while walking the earth.
2. Let my words remain in you.  His teaching, His counsel, let it nourish your soul & shape the way you live, think, talk, pray.

That's the way I see it.  Hopefully you will see it that way too.