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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#904. Effective prayer by remaining in the vine together (22/9/23)

This week we are considering what Jesus’ teaching on remaining in the vine from John 15 means for us together.

‘If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.’ (John 15:7)

Lesson: A church community that remains in the vine will be devoted to prayer and powerful in prayer together.

To listen to this devotional go to:

A vital aspect of remaining in the vine together is that we pray together. As a branch draws its nourishment and subsequent fruitfulness from the vine, so the church is to remain and be fruitful through prayer.

Many people fail to pray, yet they still seem to be very successful. I've lost count of the number of 'successful' people who, when interviewed, include a period of mindfulness meditation as a part of a successful day. They don't include God, and yet they are very successful. Likewise, there are many institutions that gather thousands of people who attribute their 'success' to 'grit,' putting on a good show, and advertising. Recently, for example, I watched a film on the founding of McDonald's, and prayer had very little to do with it. On a more spiritual front, I've heard of churches that gather massive followings, but where prayer seems to play a very little part in their strategy. So, it's easy for all of us to be tempted to think that success has very little to do with prayer.

However, if we look in the right direction—at Jesus—and learn from Him, we hear Him say:

‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’ (John 15:5)

Now, prayer isn't everything meant by 'remain in me,' but it's a crucial aspect! To remind you of today's reading that speaks of prayer:

‘If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.’ (John 15:7)

From John 15, we can understand that faith in Christ, love for His word, and prayer are key elements in becoming a truly fruitful church. In fact, we are warned that 'apart from me you can do nothing!' So, 'all that glitters is not gold,' and everything labeled as success may well be insignificant.

In the previous chapter (John 14), he taught on the connection between prayer and our ability to carry out the works of Christ:

‘Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.’ (John 14:12-14)

This is a very challenging and exciting promise regarding prayer. As we remain in the vine through prayer, Jesus will lead us into powerful prayer and to powerful ‘works’.


A church community that remains in the vine will be devoted to prayer and powerful in prayer together. Let me encourage you, as I urge myself, to listen to Jesus as to the 'roots' of true success, rather than some podcast that promotes self-sufficiency. Is our faith in Jesus as our vine causing us to be devoted to praying with our church?

Specifically, how are you expressing your faith in 'the true vine' through prayer in your Community Group?




It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


As this may well be your first group meeting in a while, perhaps you’d like to catch up on highs and lows from the summer period.


Please read John 15:1-17

This week, we continue with our vision series that is inspired by John's teaching on Jesus being the vine.

Let’s begin by reminding ourselves of our vision and goals as a church:

At CCP, our vision is: 'Bringing people to Jesus: myself, one another, and our community.'

1. Myself(I bring myself to Jesus)

We are seeking to build a church in which every member knows the importance of, and has the skills to come to Jesus each day so as to live as fully devoted followers of Jesus every day.

2. One another (We bring one another to Jesus)

We have an Acts 2 vision of the church where we see their devotion to meeting together. Together, we encourage each other to come to Jesus and put Him at the centre of our lives.

3. Our community (we seek to bring our community to Jesus)

We are a church that has deep compassion for our community and we know that God wants to work through us to bring people to Him. We understand or identity as 'salt and light' in our communities doing good works and sharing the gospel thoughtfully. We love to ‘serve, invest and invite’ in our community - invest in friendships and invite them into our lives, church community and closer to Jesus, particularly through Alpha.

Our 4 simple goals

To help with this, we have 4 very simple but, I believe, powerful goals that encourage every member to work on:

Goals to help me to bring ‘myself’ to Jesus:

1. We 'come to Jesus daily' by setting aside quality time each day in prayer and worship out of the Bible and asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit (20 minutes, using the ‘come to Jesus daily’ blog is a good start)

2. The 'icebreaker' used in our CG meetings is, normally, 'How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?'

Goal to help bring 'one another' to Jesus:

3. We are devoted to building an amazing Community Group (Meeting weekly is a good start).

Goals to help us to bring ‘our community’ to Jesus:

4. We aim to share, pray and plan about how we are ‘serving, investing and inviting’ into our community every time we meet in our Community Groups. Additionally, we pray and plan specifically during our monthly ‘SIV Week’ (Serve/Invest/Invite).

Discussion Questions

1. Do you have any questions about our vision and goals?

2. Reflecting upon our reading from John 17, What are the ways that one can ‘remain in the vine’ personally?

3. What is the link between loving one another in the church and remaining in the vine?

4. SIV - Why will we become effective at reaching our community outside of the church if we remain in the vine?

5. SIV - How could you better Serve, Invest and inVite with the people and in the places that God has put you into?

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