Course:  The Importance of Effective Prayer.

Lesson 5

Lesson Title:  The Secret of Prayer - Abiding in Christ


Lesson Goal:  …that the student will understand that effective prayer is associated with bearing fruit and cultivate it in his or her daily life.


Text: John 15:7, ’If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.’


Theme:  Prayer must be the outward expression of a close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and His word.


Introduction: The secret of power in prayer is abiding in Christ.

·        Our prayers will be answered to the extent that we are walking with Christ.

·         Abiding in Christ means having our life hid in His life and having His word dwelling in our hearts and minds so that our thoughts and desires are under the Lordship of Christ.    

·        Finding the secret of abiding in Christ transformed the lives of great people of God like Hudson Taylor who founded the China Inland Mission (now OMF) and Rees Howells the great intercessor of Wales.


Introductory illustration: 

Jesus used the illustration of the vine and the branches, John 15:1-17.

·        Life - The life of the vine is in the branches.

·        Fruit - The fruit is the product of the life of the vine.  No life, no fruit.

·        Pruning - A vine needs pruning to get rid of dead branches.



1.      Effective prayer must be the expression of the life of Christ in us.

·        Christ is the vine, we are the branches.  It is His life flowing through His body.  Without the life of Christ abiding in us prayer will be ineffectual.   'Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me.  I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5.  The life of the vine is in the branches.  The life of Christ is in the believer, Colossians 1:27  'To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:'


Question:  What do we mean when we say that the life of Christ dwells in us?

The believer is a new creation created in Christ Jesus.  Ephesians 2:10  'For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.'

 The new man is created in Christ Jesus.  The life of Christ dwells in the new man.  His life does not flow through the sinful nature that will eventually be destroyed.  To know His presence we must walk in the new nature.  If we pray out of the carnal nature then Christ is not there.


·        The fruit is produced by the life of the vine flowing in the branches.  Bearing fruit is directly associated with answered prayer. 


Question:  Why is effective prayer associated with bearing fruit?

Because we come before the Father in the name of Jesus.   If we have no relationship with Christ then we cannot approach the Father.  Prayer is approaching the Father on the basis of our relationship through His Son.   



2.      Prayer must come out of the words of Christ abiding in us, John 15:7.                                   


R A Torrey (see textbook): ‘George Muller, one of the mightiest men of prayer of the present generation, when the hour for prayer came would begin by reading and meditating upon God's Word until out of the study of the Word a prayer began to form itself in his heart.  Thus God Himself was a real author of the prayer, and God answered the prayers which He Himself had inspired.’



3.      Dead branches will not see answered prayer. 


4.      Producing fruit is necessary to have power in prayer, John 15:16.



1.      Effective prayer comes from the life of Christ in the believer.

2.      Effective prayer comes from His words abiding in us. 

3.      Dead branches must be cut off as they will hinder prayer.

4.      Answered prayer is directly linked with bearing the fruit of the Spirit.



Lesson Outline


Course Index



R.A.Torrey ‘How to Pray’




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