"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you."
I've often wondered if a person who prays only is sufficient in keeping close contact to God. How can it be? How can you know Christ personally if you do not know about his own life and teachings? How can the simple act of prayer draw you that closeness to God if you have little idea of what's inside the Bible?
Jesus taught his disciples about the importance of being connected to him. At this point in time, he was speaking to the disciples trying to comfort them after informing them that one would betray him, and Peter would deny him. He went on to say, "Remain in me, and I will 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. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you." (John 15:4,7)
Jesus used the word remain 11 times in this passage. Who uses a word 11 times without fear of being redundant? He further emphasizes to remain in him and his word. How else can you remain in his word without picking up the Bible?
And how do I exactly remain in him and get what I ask for? When you study God's word, your thoughts and desires are becoming more Christ-like. The study of God's word takes the onus off oneself and focuses it on others. Hence, your prayer will be answered.
So I know you're thinking, "Gosh, OK, but this is such a big book. Where to I start?"
"How can I keep on track?" If you're going to get really serious, here's some help below to get you in the right direction.
Discipleship Reading Plan
Bible in a Year
Read the Bible in a Year
Through the Bible in a Year PDF
Let God speak to you! Remain in him and your prayers will be answered!