I’m exhausted. As the mother of three sons 7, 5, and 2, a wife, a teacher, and writer, life can often seem overwhelming. Blogs, Facebook, and magazines seem to tell me I can have it all. I can do it all. If I try hard enough, try this organization method, try this product, I can be enough. But I can’t.
I’m learning more and more that to do the things Jesus has called me to I need to abide in him.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus says,
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. (John 15:4-5, ESV)
Looking up “Abide” in Strong’s Concordance we learn it means “to remain, to continue to be present, to be held.” Isn’t that a beautiful picture? To be present with Jesus and be held.
In other verses, the Bible tells us to abide means to be in fellowship with Jesus (1 John 2:24, 28), follow his commands—especially to love (John 15:9-12), and believe in him (1 John 2:23-24).
When life is so, abiding can often seem like one more thing on our to-do list. I get it. If you’re like me, your life is so busy between family, work, and extra activities abiding in Jesus often ends up in last place. But the more I spend time with him, the more I learn I can do nothing apart from him. At least nothing that will last.
Without him, I’m prone to yell at my kids when I should show patience.
Without him, I’m guilty of passing my husband like a stranger instead of slowing down and connecting with him.
Without him, I’m likely to see my students as a name on a page instead of a person to connect with.
Without him, I go through my day, but love is missing.
I need Jesus to breathe his life into mine, and to do this I need to abide.
Try this with me. One way to abide in Jesus is through prayer. It’s being present with him, while praising him, crying out to him, and coming to him on the behalf of ourselves and others.
We know Paul has written for us to:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, NASB)
One prayer method I’ve found helpful over the years is ACTS prayers. I learned it when I first began my own journey to Abide in Jesus daily, and I still find it a helpful way to connect with him.
ACTS stands for:
A—Acknowledge God. Here you remember who God is—our father, creator, redeemer… Often I will take a recent verse from my Bible study and pray it back to God here to help me remember who he is.
C—Confess. Often in our rush to pray for all the things we need or want, we forget to confess our sins to God. This is saying, God, I’ve screwed up. I know I’ve sinned against you in these ways. Please forgive me.
T—Thanksgiving. This is where we remember where our blessings come from and thank God for them. Did you see a recent answer to prayer? Thank him. Did you wake up to a beautiful day? Thank him!
S—Supplication. This is a big word that means asking for what we need. It’s what we usually do in prayer. Here ask God for what you need. Pour out your heart to him. Bring other’s needs before him.
This way of praying helps me to keep the most important things first. It begins with worship and acknowledging who God is and then ends with my requests of him.
Right now, take a few minutes to pray an ACTS prayer. It may seem simple, but it is powerful…
… Did you try it? If you found it helpful, join our 31 day Abide Challenge.
For 31 days, I’ll send you an email each morning with a different way to Abide in Jesus. Some ideas you may be familiar with, others you may not have thought of before. These aren’t just ideas for your quiet time, though there are some of the those. What they are is ways to Abide in Jesus throughout the day and remain in him more.
As we remain in him, we then can become more like him, bear fruit that will last, and learn to work from his power instead of our own. We can learn to abide in Jesus.