Don’t Worry About The Details
You take time to wait on God and let the Holy Spirit guide you, and I can guarantee you, beloved, that you'll be praying in line with the Will of God. And your prayer will have an answer.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing alright? Oh, I trust so, bless your heart. Nice to be back with you. It’s your friend, Bob Cook, and we’re gonna spend a few moments… Invest, I guess is a better verb, invest a few moments for eternity, looking at God’s wonderful Word, the Bible, without error, infallible, our only rule of faith and practice, the Word of God, the Bible. You know what the call is, we don’t reason up to God, we start with God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” the Bible says. We start with faith in God and with the belief, deep-rooted conviction, that the Bible is, not just contains, the Bible is the Word of God to you and to me.
And it is with that point of view then that we come to John, the Gospel of John, chapter 15. We’ve been talking about abiding in Christ. The first great result of depending upon the Lord Jesus Christ for life and strength and fruitfulness is fruit bearing. Fruit bearing, your life becomes productive, and other people are brought to Christ as you depend upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, there’s this matter of answered prayer, verse 7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Now, “what ye will” needs to be modified by some other passages, and I’m gonna turn, for instance, to Romans chapter 8. You people who study your Bible, you know where I’m going. “We know not,” this is Romans 8:26, “The Spirit helps our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for, what we should pray for, as we ought. But the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, and He that searcheth the hearts,” that’s God the Father, “Knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He, the Spirit, maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” You wanna pray in the will of God? Jesus said, “Ask what ye will.” Now, you wanna pray in the will of God? Yield to the blessed Holy Spirit who dwells within the believer, and He will enable you to pray in line with the will of God.
Then I’m turning over to 1 John, and he said, “We know that if we ask anything according to His will,” this is 1 John 5:14, “This is the confidence we have in Him that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us, and if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions,” “have,” not “will have”, “Have the petitions that we desired of Him.” So, this verse in John 15 needs to be modified by other scriptures which tell us that we have to ask in the will of God, and the Holy Spirit of God who indwells us will enable us to do that. And when we pray according to the will of God, our prayers are answered. You follow that? “If ye abide in me,” and now you’re depending on the Lord Jesus every split second, “And my words abide in you… ” See, your life and heart and mind and memory are full of the Word of God, then your praying is gonna be on the basis of God’s will. If you’re depending on the Lord Jesus, and you are full of His Word, then your praying will be according to His will. Now, I can guarantee that the more you immerse your mind and memory with the Word of God, and the more you yield your life to the Lord Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to fill every room in your heart house, the more you will find confidence in praying, knowing that you’re praying according to the will of God.
There is a screening process that takes place, that screens out selfish praying. I’ve had this happen to me numbers of times, where I was earnestly praying about something and seeming to get nowhere at all, just didn’t get anywhere while I was praying so earnestly for something that I wanted very much to happen, or to have, or whatever it may have been. And then I backed off and just waited before God and read His word and meditated and thought about things and started again on a different tack and found that my prayers were indeed now effective. I had, as we say, the witness of the Spirit, that I was praying in the Spirit according to the will of God and, bless you, I got an answer. Now, I know that these things, there is a screening effect by the Holy Spirit and by the Word of God in your mind and heart and memory that guides you in praying according to the will of God. Now, don’t argue with me about it, just try it out yourself, will you? Wait before God, read His Word, ponder over His precious promises, and find yourself praying according to the will of God, as the Holy Spirit, who indwells the believer, enables you to pray. Oh, what a precious process, my dear friend, that really is. You try it for yourself. Answered prayer, “If ye abide in Me,” that means depend on the Lord Jesus for life, for strength, and for fruitfulness, “And my words abide in you.”
Now, this is in parallel to what He said, “Abide in Me and I in you.” Verse 4, “Abide in Me and I in you. Abide in Me and my words abide in you.” How does the presence of the Lord Jesus become transmuted into my life? Through the Word of God. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart,” said the Psalmist, “That I might not sin against thee.” “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly,” says Paul. All right, so then there is dependence on the Lord Jesus. There is the experience of being filled in your mind and heart and memory in the computer of your mind, filled with the Word of God. Then He says, “Go ahead and pray for what’s on your heart because the Holy Spirit is guiding that kind of praying.”
I remember so keenly, even though the years have gone by, visiting the man who through the years had been one of my best friends, Mel Larson, quiet, soft spoken, intensely dedicated to Jesus, extremely intelligent, a fine journalist who worked with us in Youth for Christ and later went on to be the editor of the Evangelical Beacon Magazine, living in Minneapolis. Now, it developed that there was a malignant growth in his body, and he was ill. He’d had some surgery, and still things weren’t going well. And I thought, “I just gotta see Mel, and I’ve gotta have some prayer with him.” So I took a whole day out and went up to Minneapolis and just spent a whole day. I got there the night before, and then I just went to his house and sat around with him and talked and prayed. We enjoyed fellowship together, had a couple of good times of prayer. But when I started to pray for him, and I searched my own heart deeply before I ever went to his house, I made sure that things were right between me and the Lord, believe me.
So now, I’m praying for Mel Larson, and I’m bringing before the Heavenly Father this dear man who is ill, and who needs, if he’s gonna live any longer, he needs a healing touch. Well, sir, I told you there’s a screening effect in the presence of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. And as I prayed, I could not, for the life of me, pray in any confidence for that man’s healing. Now, I knew my heart was right, I knew I had faith in God, I know, as well as I know my own name, that God can heal. We believe that. Hallelujah. But there I was in the… So I prayed, and I found that my praying was worship, and it was praise, and it was acceptance, and it was surrender to the will of God. But I never got around to saying, “Lord, I believe You’re gonna heal Mel Larson.” Because the Spirit of God wasn’t witnessing with me that that was gonna happen. And the dear man slipped away into the glory land a few weeks later, mourned by thousands of people who had been touched by his gentle greatness.
Now, somebody’s gonna say, “Well, Bob Cook, you just didn’t have faith enough,” or, “There must have been something wrong with you,” or, “Maybe the man for whom you were praying didn’t have faith enough.” Oh, yes, he had faith. He had prayed victoriously many times in his life, and so, indeed, have I. What I’m telling you is, God, by His Holy Spirit, will guide your praying even in situations that are immensely painful, that involve, in some cases, life and death. He’ll guide your praying. You’re unhappy in your job. Someone wrote me and said, “I’m so unhappy in my job. I have a boss who’s absolutely impossible. He doesn’t treat me right, and I’m unhappy, what shall I do?” And I wrote back and said, gave the scripture verse, “Commit thy work unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” I said, “Pray about your job, and God will make some changes, either in you or in the job.” And a few weeks later, came a letter, it said, “I took your advice and prayed about the job, and my attitude changed, and I’ve gotten a raise, and I’m in line for a promotion. Praise the Lord.”
Well, God will direct your praying, beloved, according to His will, because the Holy Spirit dwells in the believer to do that very thing. Now, you try that for yourself, consciously yield, surrender to the Holy Spirit of God when you start to pray. It takes a little time. Don’t just rush in with your laundry list and say, “Hello, God, here’s what I want.” Uh-uh. You take time to get your own heart right, and to confess your faults and shortcomings before God, and to wait on Him. Be still. The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations.” And you take time to wait on God and let the Holy Spirit guide you, and I can guarantee you, beloved, that you’ll be praying in line with the will of God. And your prayer will have an answer. Oh, yes, it will. God answers prayer. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” So part of this matter of abiding in the Lord Jesus is answered prayer.
Then we come to another subject, which obviously I won’t finish because time will run out, but it’s this whole matter of love, as mentioned in verse 9, 12 and 17. “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you. Continue ye in my love.” Verse 12, “This is my commandment that ye love one another as I have loved you.” Verse 17, “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” And He uses the word ‘agape,’ the John 3:16 kind of love. We’ll get at that the next time we get together, continuing our thought on this matter of abiding in Christ.
Father God, today may we abide in the Lord Jesus. May we pray according to the will of God and may we bear eternal fruit from our lives, I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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