Where Every Prayer Is Answered

By Francis Frangipane

We should not assume that simply because we are Christians we have learned the secret of abiding in Christ. Jesus said, "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). To abide in Him is to live in ceaseless fusion with His passions. It is to have found the habitation of God where no barrier or shadow exists between our weakness and His sufficiency, or between our yearning and His fulfillment.

Considering the magnitude of God's promises, it is actually a misfortune that most of us have no more than a few minutes of devotions each day and a church service or two each week.

The shelter of God is not only a place to visit God; it is also a place to dwell with Him. For those who dwell with God, His presence is not merely our refuge; it is a permanent address. When we are abiding in Christ, even as He and the Father are One, so we become one with Him. It is His life, His virtue, His wisdom, and His Spirit that sustain us. We become perfectly weak, unable to resist Him. Like the Son's relationship with the Father, so we do nothing from our own initiative unless it is something we see Him do. If He should require of us nothing more than our love, we are well content. Jesus is our first choice, not our last resort.

To those who have entered the abiding place, our questions are not about doctrines or pronouncing the right prayer at an altar. We have found Him whom our soul loves. We are constrained and guided by His voice, surrendered and imprisoned in His love.

He says, "O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret place of the steep pathway, let me see your form, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your form is lovely" (Song of Sol. 2:14).

This communion of heart between Christ and His bride is a stronghold. It is God's shelter from the distresses and distractions of life. Here He tells us what to pray; here our supplications are answered. Yet in spite of our flaws and the weakness of our prayers, to Him our voice is sweet; in spite of our lowliness, our form is lovely in His eyes.

In the Bosom of Christ
What are we to Jesus? Has He given us life only to test His creative skills? No. We exist for the fulfillment of His love.

"Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the uttermost" (John 13:1 NASB, Margin).

You are loved by the Lord. He appreciates you. Jesus personally died for each of us; He prays to the Father for us by name. You say, "But I am full of fears, wrought with failure."

He says, "Father, I want them with me -- these you've given me -- so that they can see my glory" (John 17:24, TLB).

Christ appreciates us because we are a gift to Him from the Father. Jesus knows that the Father gives only good gifts (James 1:17). Yes, we are imperfect, but Christ sees us in our ultimate completeness. Seeing the end from the beginning, He joyfully receives us.

And what kind of gift are we? Are we a reward, or perhaps a challenge? No. We are His bride. The glance of our eyes makes His heart beat faster (Song of Sol. 4:9). And it is here, in the love we share with Jesus, that we are secured in the shelter of God.

Lord, forgive me for the inconsistency of my commitment to You. Master, with all that I am, I desire unbroken fellowship with You. Even now, shape me to fit perfectly into Your presence, that I might dwell in oneness with You, that I might live empowered by the impulse of Your will.

Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, The Shelter of the Most High, available at www.arrowbookstore.com.