The Bible says many things about fruit bearing, but John 15 makes a distinct connection between bearing fruit and prayer: the fruit here being the answers to our prayers.
John 15:7&8: “If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. In this is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
And verse 16: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever ye shall ask of the father in my name, He may give it you.”
The one who is abiding in Christ should be bearing much fruit; that is, he should be getting his prayers answered! All men know that the Bible promises great results to those who pray and that all good comes from God through prayer. When what is promised is not realized, God’s Word and His very name are dishonored. Faith, both ours and those who are listening to our prayers, becomes feeble by our asking and not getting. E.M. Bounds who wrote the definitive works on prayer, once noted that it would be better not to pray at all than to pray and not secure results. He says: “Prayer is the helpless and needy child crying to the compassion of the father’s heart and the bounty and power of a father’s hand. The answer is as sure to come as the father’s heart can be touched and the father’s hand moved.”
Jesus said it this way: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” Matthew 7:11
How important it is, then, to learn to pray effectively! Prayer must be more than beautiful words. The most stately prayers can lack heart and soul. The Pharisees prayed these prayerless prayers. Effective prayer must spring from ardent desire and earnest faith: not faith in our prayers, but faith in the One Who can do anything! Prayer is all consuming. It is desperation. Jacob wrestled with God and said, “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me.” Prayer is strenuous, exhausting striving and laboring. For Jesus in the garden it was agony.
The importunate widow demonstrated both the difficulties in praying and the magnanimous results of desperate desire. We cannot afford to get this wrong. Everything from managing the daily minutia of our lives to the securing of Christ’s kingdom on earth depends on prayer. As David prayed, he cried that God would hear and answer him speedily and that God would not let him be ashamed. Ashamed of what? Ashamed when his enemies say, “Aha! Aha! Where is your God?” David wanted his prayers answered for his sake and for the sake of those who knew he prayed!
So much is God’s reputation on the line that He gave Isaiah this most shocking admonition: “Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.” Isaiah 45:11
So vigorous we should be in our praying that when we have finished we can say: “Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.” Psalm 6:8-9