"I ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you" (John 15:16)
In the first verse of our parable, Christ revealed Himself as the true Vine, and the Father as the Husbandman. He asked that we keep a place in our heart for Himself and the Father. Here, in the closing verse, He sums up all His teaching concerning Himself and the Father in stating the twofold purpose for which he had chosen them.
With reference to Himself, the Vine, the purpose was that they should bear fruit. With reference to the Father, it was that whatsoever they should ask in His name, should be done by the Father in heaven. As fruit is the greatest proof of a true relationship to Christ, so prayer is proof of our relationship to the Father. A fruitful abiding in the Son and prevailing prayer to the Father are the two greatest factors in the true Christian life.
That whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you. These are the closing words of the parable of the Vine. The whole mystery of the Vine and its branches leads up to this other mystery - that whatsoever we ask in His name the Father gives! Here is the reason for the lack of prayer, and the lack of power in prayer. It is because we rarely live the true branch life that we do not feel constrained to much prayer. It is because we so seldom lose ourselves in the Vine that we do not feel confident that we will be heard. And, because it is so unusual for us to abide in Him entirely, we do not know how to use His name as the key to God's storehouse.
The Vine planted on earth has reached up into heaven. It is only the soul wholly and intensely abiding in it that can reach into heaven with power to prevail much. Our faith in the teaching and the truth of the parable - in the truth and the life of the Vine - must prove itself by power in prayer. The life of abiding and obedience, of love and joy, of cleansing and fruitbearing, will surely lead to the power of prevailing prayer.
Whatsoever ye shall ask. The promise was given to the disciples when they were ready to give themselves, in the likeness of the true Vine, for their fellow men. This promise was their provision for their work. They took it literally; they believed it; they used it; and they found it to be true. Let us give ourselves, as branches of the true Vine, and in His likeness, to the work of saving men. Let us bring forth fruit to the glory of God, and we will find a new urgency and power to pray and to claim the "whatsoever ye ask." We will awaken to our wonderful responsibility of having been promised the keys to the King's storehouses. And, we will not rest until we have received bread and blessing for the perishing.
"I have chosen you ... that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you." Beloved disciple, seek, above everything, to be a man of prayer. Here is the highest exercise of you privilege as a branch of the Vine. Here is the full proof of your being renewed in the image of God and His Son. Here is your power to show how you, like Christ, live not for yourself, but for others. Here you enter into heaven to receive gifts for men. Here your abiding in Christ has led to His abiding in you - to use you as the channel and instrument of His grace. The power to bear fruit for men has been crowned by power to prevail with God.
"I am the true Vine, and my Father is the Husbandman." Christ's work in you is to bring you to the Father, so that His word may be fulfilled in you, "At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father himself loveth you" (John 16:26-27). The power of direct access to the Father for men, the liberty of intercession claiming and receiving blessing for them in faith, is the highest exercise of our union with Christ. Let all who truly and fully want to be branches give themselves to the work of intercession. It is the one great work of Christ the Vine in heaven - the source of power for all His work. Make it you one great work as a branch. It will be the power of all your work.
In My name. Yes, Lord, in your name, the new name You have given Yourself here, the true Vine. As a branch, abiding in You in entire devotion, in full dependence, in perfect conformity, and in abiding fruitfulness, I come to the Father, in You, and He will give what I ask. Oh, let my life be one of unceasing and prevailing abiding in the Vine. Amen