In John, Chapter 15, Christ presents two conditions for answered prayer.

The first, that we “abide in him and that his word abides in us.”  The second, that we are bearing fruit for him, “fruit that will last.”  

Both conditions require an ongoing commitment to walk in obedience to his commands, chiefly that we “love each other.”  

He promises us that if we obey him then “his joy will be in us and that it will be made complete.”  From the apostle Paul’s writings, we know that love and joy are two fruits of walking in the Spirit.

In physical life, fruits sometimes take a back seat to meat and vegetables, but in the spiritual life, they are the chief end of God’s work in our life: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”  

In the physical life, meat and vegetables often give us the strength to do physical work.  In the spiritual life, “spiritual fruits” like love and joy give us the strength to do spiritual work.  

As it is written, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Without love and joy motivating our actions, nothing that we do will have any lasting impact in the lives of our loved ones.

Going back to the promise of answered prayer, we know that it is the Father’s good pleasure to answer the prayers of his children.

Let us not become disillusioned when he answers us in a way that we weren’t expecting.  Let us be be thankful for the “nos”, the “maybes”, and the “not yets.”  

Let us be watchful for those desires that he places within us that bring with them the joy and peace of knowing that these desires come from the throne and carry with them the promise of being realized in his good time and in his good way.

~ Brad Heilhecker