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9. Help me, Gracious Father, to be a healthy and growing disciple.

Jesus used a grape vine as an example of a healthy and growing disciple. For a branch to bear fruit, it obviously must remain attached to the vine (John 15:1). A branch that has been trimmed away from the vine will never produce fruit.

A gardener knows that a grape vine will naturally produce lots of green leaves. He knows that for the vine to produce grapes, he must trim away the excess foliage and lift the flimsy limbs out of the dirt and train them around the trellis.

To become a healthy and growing disciple of Christ we must do two things. First, stay attached to Jesus. That means reading the Bible, praying, and being in the company of other growing disciples. Second, we must invite the Gardener to prune and discipline us, to cut away and to lift up.

Try personalizing Paul’s prayer for the Colossians. Make his prayer, your prayer.

“We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light” (Colossians 1:9-12).

10. Lord God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Thy will be done.

Jesus taught His disciples to pray. “Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done...” (Matthew 6:9–10).

Jesus perfectly modeled this on the night that He was betrayed. “He went out and made his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he told them, ‘Pray that you may not fall into temptation.’ Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me—nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done’ ” (Luke 22:39–42).

Jesus taught us to pray. “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7–8). I imagine crawling up in my Father’s lap and asking, seeking and knocking. Because He’s a loving Father, He will always respond to my requests. Sometimes His answer is, “no.”

Father knows best! Thy will be done!

All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from

Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.


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