John 15:1-4 (NIV)
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
In our last series, “Listening Prayer,” we all received tangible strategies to draw closer to God so we can have an intimate relationship with Him. Now that we are equipped to have a stronger prayer life, let’s explore how to find peace and confidence in our faith. This month's series is called "Finding Peace and Wisdom in it All" and it will look at various scriptures for guidance on strategies to seek out peace and wisdom in all of our experiences, both prosperous and challenging. Today’s scripture beautifully illustrates how Jesus is the vine and God is the gardener. When we, His children, are connected to the vine, we are able to bear fruit.
Consider the following:
Like a true gardener, God’s intention is for all of his children to be successful, happy, and at peace, but whether we want to accept it or not “pruning” is part of the process. The definition of pruning is to trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth. If we were to think of pruning in the human context, it could symbolize struggle, pain, or challenge and we might question why God would allow for us to suffer. On the other hand, in the spiritual sense pruning is God’s way to increase fruitfulness and growth as His seed.
In order to find Peace and Wisdom in challenging circumstances, the first thing we must do is to go to our prayer closet and ask God what is the lesson in this? And repeat back to ourselves that God is always for us and not against us. So, as we embark on our new series we will examine past and current challenges, and ask God to reveal to us how he is either pruning or setting us up to bear fruit. In the end, we must stay connected to Him, so here is a prayer you can say if you are seeking for God’s wisdom and peace in a difficult situation.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I understand that your only son is the true vine and you are the gardener. I seek to be connected to you and the holy body so I can bear fruit in your name. Although at times I question or challenge why I go through trials and tribulations, I trust that your will is always in my favor and you will never forsake me. I ask for wisdom and peace in every situation I am in and that you prune any aspect of my life that is not bearing fruit. I bind up any negative or ill-will that is keeping me from my destiny and full potential and I ask that my faith be strengthened when I waiver away from your Word. Keep me close to you and as I sit in silence. I have expectancy for a Word and symbol of hope that you will elevate me to another season of prosperity. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.