But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." (Acts 6:4 ESV)
The last few days of our 31 Days of Prayer will be spent praying for God’s plans for us this year. I am beginning this year with prayer, instead of resolutions, so that I am prepared to live these next eleven months faithfully and productively for the Lord. So now these prayers turn toward looking at what God’s assignments for 2017 are. Today we are praying that in whatever job He gives us, we will be fruitful.
- And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:28 ESV)
God’s very first command to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful, which explains the deep-seated desire in humankind’s heart to produce and create. The challenge occurs when we only focus on being fruitful for our careers or pocketbooks or reputations. None of that is bad, but it also not eternal.
- You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16 ESV)
Jesus appoints His followers to bear fruit that lasts. Let’s ask Jesus where He has ordained us to work and bear fruit this year, fruit that will affect eternity.
- Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing…By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:4-5,8 ESV)
I want Jesus living in my very fibers. I want to be so planted in Him that I disappear and He emerges. As I abide in Him and He abides in me, THEN there is fruit which glorifies the Father. I cannot conjure up eternal fruit in my own efforts.
In order to bear fruit I need Jesus.
- until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. (Isaiah 32:15-16 ESV)
The Holy Spirit produces fruit. No matter how hard I try, I cannot produce fruit on my own. As I pray for a fruitful 2017, I am praying for a filling of the Spirit.
In order to bear fruit I need the Spirit.
- As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty." (Matthew 13:23 ESV)
For my heart to be “good soil” that nurtures and grows the seed God plants, I have to hear the Word and study to understand it. I cannot produce eternal fruit without the saturation of the eternal Word.
In order to bear fruit I need the Word.
- And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. (Isaiah 37:31 ESV)
No matter our current status, it is never too late to send roots down into the Lord. We are never too old to bear fruit. In fact, I believe every Believer’s mission on earth is to bring life-breathing, kingdom-building fruit to a dying, decaying, fallen world. No matter the assignment the Lord gives for 2017, I pray that I produce fruit for Jesus, right where He has me.
Day 26 Prayer
- so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Colossians 1:10 ESV)
Thank You for the command from the beginning of time to be fruitful.
I confess I get sidetracked by feeling the need to produce fruit to benefit myself. Lord, please direct my heart and focus, so my FIRST desire is to produce fruit that builds Your Kingdom. I want to send my roots down deep into You, that Your life would flow through me.
Jesus, I invite You to abide in me. Please push all other competing activities and desires out of the way so that you fill up every space inside me. May my heart beat for You, my mind think of You, and my mouth speak of You.
Holy Spirit, only through Your life and presence can fruit come. I ask You to rain down on me. Please wash me and fill me with Your power. Even if I reside in a barren wasteland or wilderness, please produce fruit that continues.
Father, thank You for Your Word. Its wisdom breaks up the ground of my heart for the life of Jesus and the water of the Spirit to produce fruit. Father, I ask You to help me take the time to dive into Your Word this year and take it seriously, more than I ever have before.
Oh Lord, I ask for Your blessing on 2017 that I would produce much fruit that would remain. I ask You to use me however You see fit, in order that fruit, which builds Your Kingdom and glorifies Your name, grows in my life.
Whatever You have for me in 2017, may it matter in eternity.
Oh Believer, I am asking the Lord to make you exceedingly fruitful in 2017! Let's abandon distractions, throw off encumbrances, and live solely for Jesus! Just think what He will do with a life totally given to Him!
- I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. (Genesis 17:6 ESV)