This is another lesson from our Wednesday night sermons. I have often thought of copying the sermons word by word from the tapes, but I think this will do as well. It covers the main meaning of the sermon, and it easier to read. Our pastor is teaching from the book How to Pray by R. A. Torrey among other books and scriptures. I am once again quoting that book pages 59-61.
If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it will be given you. John 15:7
If we are to obtain from God all that we ask from Him, Christ’s words must abide or Connie in us. We must study His words, fairly devour His words, let them sink into our thoughts and into our hearts, keep them in our memory, obey them constantly in our life, let them shape and mold our daily life and our every act.
To depart for Mr. Torrey for a moment. — Last night our pastor explained this a little more. The point is that we are to read the word, study the word, and hear the word preached, and memorize the word, but that isn’t all. We are to make that Word a part of us. We should mediate upon the word. Take certain passages of scripture and meditate upon it all thought the day. We should think on it in the morning and before sleeping and all through the day, turning it over in our minds, thinking on each word and how it applies to us until the Lord by the Holy Spirit makes that scripture alive in our souls. Then we are to obey that word. That is how the word changes our lives. This can be a promise or a command or anything else. The example Pastor used was a child who is disobedient to his or her parents and who doesn’t honor his or her parents as Jesus commands them to do. He suggested that the child take two or three of the passages that say a child is to obey and honor his parents and mediate on it all day, looking for opportunities to obey that passage by obeying his parents. God will make that passage real to the child and that obedience will become a habit of life. The Word will have changed the child’s behavior. That is just one example he gave.
Back to Mr. Torrey . .
This is really the method of abiding in Christ. It is through His words that Jesus imparts Himself to us. The words He speaks unto us, they are spirit and they are life (John 6:63). It is vain to expect power in prayer unless we mediate much upon the words of Christ and let them sink deep and find a permanent abode in our hearts. There are many who wonder why they are so powerless in prayer, but the very simple explanation of it all is found in their neglect of the words of Christ. They have not hidden His words in their hearts His words do not abide in them. It is not by seasons of experiences that we learn to abide in Christ: it is by feeding upon His Word, His written word as found in the Bible, and looking to the Holy Spirit to implant these words in our hearts and to make hem a living thing in our hearts. If we thus for the words of Christ abide in us, they will stir us up to prayer. They will be the mold in which our prayers are shaped, and our prayers will be necessarily along the line of God’s will and will prevail with Him, Prevailing prayer is almost an impossibility where there is neglect of the study of the Word of God. Mere intellectual study of the Word of God is not enough; there must be meditation upon it. The Word of God must be revolved over and over and over in the mind with a constant looking to God by His Spirit to make that Word a living thing in the heart, The Word of god is the instrument through which the Holy Spirit works, it is the sword of the Spirit in more senses than one and the one who would know the work of the Holy Spirit in any direction must feed upon the Word. The one who would pray in the Spirit must mediate much upon the Word, that the Holy Spirit may have something through which He can work. The Holy Spirit works His prayers in us through the Word and neglect of the Word makes praying in the Holy Spirit an impossibility. If we would feed the fire of our prayers with the fuel of God’s Word, all our difficulties in prayer would disappear.