1. In John 15:15 Jesus says, “I have called you friends.” How often do you think of Jesus as your friend? How does thinking of Jesus as your friend affect or change the way you pray?
2. Jesus states, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John:15:13). We see Jesus model this love for us on the cross, where He lays down His life for you. He willingly does this despite knowing every sin you have committed and will commit. He sees all your faults, everything that do wrong, and He still chooses to be your friend and to die in your place. Is there something you’ve been too scared or uncomfortable to share with anyone else, preferring to keep it secret? If Jesus loves you enough to die for you, do you think you can trust Him enough to take it to Him in prayer? After all, you will never have a more faithful and true friend than Him.
3. Jesus calls us to love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12). How easy is it for you to love others like Jesus has loved you? Who is it in your life that you find it hardest to love? What can you do to show them God’s love this week?
1. You don't need to be a master gardener to know that a branch doesn't live long once it has been cut off of a vine. The vine provides the branch with the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive and, without the vine, the branch simply cannot survive. We, however, are often tempted to cut ourselves off from Jesus and His Word. Yet, Jesus is our vine and He and His Word are what sustain our spiritual life. How much of a priority do you make staying connected to Him? Do you prioritize hearing and reading His word or do you simply try to make time for it when it seems convenient?
2. Jesus says, "every branch that does bear fruit he [the Father] prunes, that it may bear more fruit" (John 15:2). Gardeners prune plants in order to help a plant's strength and energy go towards the flowers or fruit that it will bear instead of needless or even harmful growth in the wrong direction. Look back over your life. Do you see any areas that God has been "pruning" to help you grow? How did it help you to bear more fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). Can you see any area of your life that God is currently pruning?
3. Jesus promises that, "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). In other words, if what we ask for is in agreement with God's Word and His will, God promises He will give it us. What sorts of things does God want you to pray for? If you aren't sure begin by considering the types of things He teaches us to pray for in the Lord's Prayer.