"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." John 15:7 ESV
In the passage leading up to this scripture, Jesus talks about pruning grapevines. The purpose behind pruning a grapevine is to achieve the best fruit. The little shoots on the lower part of the vine need to be snipped away. The vines are arranged so the fruit receives enough sun. Long trailing vines extending beyond the fruit clusters are trimmed back. The number of clusters are trimmed so only one cluster per shoot remains. While pruning may seem to be harsh it is necessary to ensure the nutrients are directed to the best clusters and produce tasty grapes.
By the direction of the word of God, we become pruned branches. In reading and studying the scripture we receive the much-needed nutrients for our spiritual fruit. It is in the discernment of scripture that we learn how to live in Christ and allow Christ to abide in us. This symbiotic relationship also has a powerful impact on our prayer life. We have the assurance that whatever we ask in Christ will be done. While at times in our spiritual growth we might find the pruning unpleasant the end result is a deeper and more fruitful connection with God.
Loving and compassionate God, we give you thanks for your word. Although at times we may not like the pruning that takes place in our lives, it is necessary for us to live more wholly in you. Help us this day as we read your word to be submissive to your will for us. Come God and abide in us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.