Last night I read John 15. It’s not next on my Bible-in-a-year schedule, but a woman of God named Ruth Handy told me I needed to read it, specifically John 15:16. But she said I should read the whole chapter and truly believe it. Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said: “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” John 15:16 (NLT). This passage holds true for not just the first 12 disciples, but for all who follow Him when He calls.
As I read this I felt so blessed that Jesus would choose me. I wondered if I am really producing the lasting fruit He has appointed me to produce. I want to, and I call on Him to help me produce lasting fruit through the sharing of His wisdom each day. I am very conscious of trying to produce this fruit in my life for Him. I have, in comments to this blog and in other ways, seen evidence of the fruit I have produced by the power of His Holy Spirit.
But the thing this woman of God focused on, when she was talking to me, was the last part of this verse. She was reading to me from the Amplified Version, which translates the second half of the verse as: “so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], He may give it to you.” She told me there are people I have been praying for, asking that they come to know the Lord or have a closer walk with the Lord, and that I need to believe that when I have prayed for them in Jesus’ Name, God has heard my prayer and will answer.
Believing is so important. Next to being sure what you are praying for is within God’s will, believing is key, really, to receiving that which we pray for in Jesus’ Name. James said:
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:6-8.
And yet when I pray for others, especially for their salvation, I know that they have freewill. Even if Jesus chooses them, like He chose me, their ability to reject Him because of their freewill leaves me with just a tiny bit of doubt. Perhaps that is why the answers to those prayers have so far been “not yet.” I am reminded of the account of when Jesus healed the boy afflicted by an evil spirit recorded in Mark 9:
“How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.
He replied, “Since he was a little boy. The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:21-24.
And so like this father I will pray, “Lord Jesus, I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
On the way home from the meeting at which I spoke with this woman of God, my friends and I were talking and one of them said a little rhyme that fit well with this post. I said I would turn it into a poem for today’s post, not realizing how well it would fit with the rest of what was on my heart today. So here is another of my lame attempts at poetry to fit the occasion:
He and me
If He and me
Could just agree
Oh what wonders
I would see
Less of me
More of He
The doubt you see
Prayers all answered
For friends in need
When we agree
He and me
I do realize this poem is not grammatically correct, but it’s poetry and so poetic license has been taken. Anyway, I’m trusting and believing in answered prayers. How about you? Have you been praying but doubting He can accomplish what you have asked? Join me in asking our dear Jesus to help us overcome our unbelief and doubt. If the Father could raise Jesus from the dead, surely He can do whatever we ask in Jesus’ Name.