Why we pray for fruitfulness February 4, 07
Why we pray for fruitfulness
Sermon, Sunday, February 04, 2007
Introduction: All of last month in our Sunday morning gatherings around the Word of God focused on praying productive prayers. Prayers that are filled with faith, centered in God’s Will, saturated in praise and thanksgiving—prayer that God not only hears, but answers. Praying productive prayers focuses on three principles: we believe God, we desire what God desires, and we give God the Glory for hearing and answering our prayers. And finally, the purpose of praying productive prayers is to increase the boundaries of the kingdom of heaven (or the kingdom of God) here on earth and to decrease the boundaries of the kingdom of darkness. The concept is simple—the process is God-dependant—there is a specific way that God has chosen to produce fruit—and as we pray for fruitfulness, we must be aware of this process and embrace it fully. Open your Bibles to John’s Gospel, chapter 15
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 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. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another." (John 15:1-17, ESV NT Rev. Int.)
PRUNING: The objective of pruning is to produce strong, healthy, attractive plants. Pruning is the practice of removing diseased, non-productive, or otherwise unwanted portions from a plant. The purpose of pruning is to shape the plant by controlling or directing plant growth, to maintain the health of the plant, or to increase the yield or quality of flowers and fruits. Pruning increases sunlight penetration, removes less productive wood, and shapes the crown into an efficient, stable form. If left unpruned, the quantity of fruit produced might be greater, but the quality much lower. Pruning increases fruit size, promotes uniform ripening, increases sugar content, and decreases disease and insect problems by allowing better spray coverage and faster drying following rainfall. It also allows easier access for timely harvesting. A good fruit tree should not make a good shade tree. However, when pruning is neglected, many apples and pears become better shade producers than fruit producers. A neglected but otherwise healthy tree will usually show a marked improvement in fruit quality as a result of pruning.
When we pray for productiveness or fruitfulness, we are coming into agreement with God to do ALL that is necessary in a person who is in a particular situation, or circumstance, to invite the kingdom of God to increase. Fruit or productiveness that is a result of anything but God’s way of producing productivity, will fail to produce kingdom increase. There are no short cuts or easy processes, no work arounds for producing real fruitfulness. All fruitful praying will be motivated by God’s love for the individual as well as our love for them too! God plants people (all of us) just exactly where He wants us. This is very important for us to remember. In order for his kingdom to come—that is for the boundaries of the kingdom to increase in every part of the world, there needs to be God’s people present and God’s people praying. When praying for each of your Christian brothers and sister, pray that God will use them to produce fruitfulness for the kingdom where they are—in their job, in their family, in their community—that they will be so filled with the fruit of the Spirit, that unbelievers will be come believers, families and communities forever changed. God would you cut out the dead and unproductiveness in us, prune us so that we bear much fruit for the kingdom of God!