Sunday, April 15, 2012

Prayer and Fruit Bearing

credit: anankkml

Every Sunday a group of adults meets downstairs in the old kitchen at church. We are a varied group in age and occupation. The smell of fresh brewed coffee fills the room and sometimes there is even a box of doughnuts on the table.  After good mornings are said and hugs are given fifteen (more or less, depending on the Sunday) of us gather around tables and serious (and sometimes not so serious) discussion begins.

It's 9:30AM and it's time for Sunday School again. This is one of my very favorite parts of the week. It's a time for discussion, contemplation, friendly debate, asking questions, and learning.  As we have been for several months now, today we are talking about prayer. We have also been talking about what the results of prayer may look like. 

Here is one of the questions from today's discussion. What is the connection between prayer and fruit bearing? (Matthew 7:15 - 19) Can there be one without the other?  Which one came first - the chicken or the egg (in this case the prayer or the fruit)? 

Without the connection that prayer gives us to the source of all life, we cannot expect bear any fruit. John 15:1 -8 talks about the importance of being connected to the Vine (Jesus). Prayer is what connects us and through our connection with the Vine we are able to bear fruit.

And what does that fruit look like? Galatians 5:22, 23 says But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control . . . 

So prayer is a very important part of our ability to bear fruit and live the kind of lives we are called to live. Without regular prayer we cannot expect to be productive Christians. But as, through prayer, we receive the blessing of being connected to the Jesus, our Vine, we begin to bear the fruit listed in Galatians.