August 3: Petition – The Prerequisite for Personal Prayer Requests

We’re returning to the Hour of Prayer and looking at Personal Prayer – the Petition.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

John 15:7

First – It’s ok to ask God for personal needs!

Second – How do we abide? What do we need to do to abide?

John MacArthur points out this is something that should already be decided. He says that Jesus is contrasting those who are in proximity to Jesus with those who are “abiding” in Jesus. You can be near Jesus but not “plugged in” – a lamp won’t go on if it’s near the outlet, it must be plugged in. Judas was “close” to Jesus, but he didn’t “abide” in Jesus.

You can be connected with Jesus Christ and not saved. Do you realize that people were called disciples of Jesus, according to John 6:66, that “many of his disciples went back and walked no more with Him.” They were identified with Christ, but they weren’t for real. In John 8 they believed on His name, and He said, all right, if you believe on My name, you’ll continue with Me, and they didn’t. They left. In 2 Corinthians 13, Paul warns us and he says you better examine yourself to see whether you’re really in the fellowship or not, because there’s so many people who think they are. So you have here some professing people in John 15, and they are similar to the ones in Hebrews 6 in the sense that they are on the edge, but they’ve never made that genuine commitment; and they’re in tremendous danger of being cut off, cast into the fire.

John MacArthur

Throughout church history people have tried to bridge the gap to allow people to be “near Jesus” that weren’t “plugged in” / “abiding” in Jesus. During the Colonial period, this was known as the Half-Way Covenant.

The Puritan-controlled Congregational churches required evidence of a personal conversion experience before granting church membership and the right to have one’s children baptized. Conversion experiences were less common among second generation colonists, and this became an issue when these unconverted adults had children of their own who were ineligible for baptism.

Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards

It was in this setting that Jonathan Edwards warned them that “half-way” wasn’t good enough. They were still Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

Make sure that you are not just nearby Jesus, or even half-way. Make sure you are abiding in Jesus!

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