A Prayer for Abiding in Christ

MEGAN JOHNSON|GUEST

“Get rooted.” It’s a quiet whisper the Holy Spirit impresses upon my heart when my mind starts to spiral or I’m tempted to react irritability or angrily to my outward circumstances, namely my kids. I’m thankful for this kind, yet bold reminder that stems from Isaiah 26:3 – “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you.”

I’ve ruminated on the gospel of Mark quite a bit lately. A major theme I’ve noticed is the crowd that follows Jesus, literally, everywhere, day and night, constantly pressing in with their needs. I’ve noticed that Jesus responds quite differently than I tend to – He has pity, He shows compassion, and mostly, He stays at peace.

Even their constant need, and I mean constant need (check out Mark chapter 1), doesn’t disturb His inner peace. It doesn’t disturb Him abiding in the Father’s love. Anybody else have a posse of little kids? You can quickly relate to the constant following, the never-ending need, and even franticness when they think the need will not be met.

And yet, Jesus. 

Sometimes I think it’s easy to forget that Jesus was not only fully God, but also fully man. The author of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus was made like us, in every respect:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16; also see Hebrews 1:10-18).

His mighty outer works flowed from an inner place of deep and constant abiding with God. He intentionally sought to be in His Father’s presence every day. He sought desolate places to pray and be alone regardless of what those around Him thought.

I’m convicted at what that means for me. If Jesus needed time and space to draw near to God, and abide with the Father – truly remain and sink His roots down deep into the Father’s love— how much more do I?

As Elizabeth Elliot wisely said, “The secret (to keeping a quiet heart) is Christ in us, not us in a different set of circumstances.”

Get rooted. When I abide in The Source, not my strength and willpower, I have a joy that is deep, full, and consistent because it doesn’t depend on what I can see or how I feel. Jesus told his disciples,

“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…As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love…These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:5, 9, 11).

When my mind is stayed on Him, and I abide in His love, I remember that I am not the source, but I am attached to the greatest and only lasting Source of power, hope, joy and peace. Striving to enter His rest, striving to abide, like Hebrews 4:11 says, is an active endeavor. How actively do we strive to abide in the Father’s love, VERSUS our own good works, knowledge, self-sufficiency, or even fears?

I’d love to share with you a prayer of abiding. Let’s silence our hearts together and confess the distractions that are often of our own making, confess where we don’t abide in His perfect love and peace, confess where we don’t believe He gives enough manna – daily bread – for today. Let’s thank him for the perfect peace He gives as our minds stay on him (Isaiah 26:3-4)

A Prayer for Abiding in Christ

Jesus – thank you that you remained perfectly in loving union with God. It’s amazing to think about you becoming human as we are, being made like us, being tempted and suffering so that you could be our faithful high priest, who sympathizes with our weaknesses. Yet, sympathizing as One who remained perfectly sinless, fighting hard a battle that we so often fail to fight.

Thank you that you were sinless – even as the crowds pushed around giving you little rest, even as you were misunderstood and jeered at, and even rejected by some of your closest followers – you remained rooted and abiding in the Father’s love. I thank you that I am hidden in you and clothed in your righteousness, and in your perfect abiding.

But I confess my lack of abiding in you – my forgetfulness to live out the reality of my union with you. Show me where I unite myself more with my outward circumstances than with you, where I let go of your peace and enter the striving of productivity, self-righteousness, or my fears and insecurities.

I repent of not thinking you are enough. I repent of not believing your grace will be enough for the future. I repent of not making time alone with you a priority – filling my mind and heart with the Words of life – your Word that sustains life.

Thank you that your mercy is more than I could ever imagine. Thank you that your kindness leads me to repentance, and for your overwhelming grace and forgiveness for me in Christ.

I trust He is enough.

Your grace is sufficient.

May I abide well, being rooted and strengthened in your love, not striving to enter a pseudo-rest of my own making, but always striving to keep a quiet heart and enter your rest you secured for me.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

About the Author:

Megan Johnson

Megan and her husband Ryan planted New City Church in Lawrenceville, GA in 2015.  They met 13 years ago in Las Vegas as part of a church plant team where they fell in love with each other and church planting.  She is passionate about discipleship and serves as the director of discipleship at their church.  She and Ryan love being parents to their tribe of four crazy kids and thrive on adventure.  You can read more about her life as a mother, how she is daily overcoming MS through the grace of Jesus, and how she is learning more and more of what it means to abide in Jesus, no matter the circumstance, at her blog: A Life of Abiding.

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