The True Vine Challenge ~ Abiding Through Prayer

My friend Cheryl Smith from Oikos Living threw down the challenge a few weeks ago, and I took the bait. She encouraged her friends to join her in taking The True Vine Challenge based on John 15:

“I am the True Vine and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit…Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

Personally, I think Cheryl threw down this challenge because she didn’t want to wrestle with this hard but beautiful Scripture alone. Thanks friend.

So all week I have thinking about it. Asking God to show me how I can abide in Him more, and GULP asking Him to prune away branches that aren’t bearing healthy fruit.

Oh the Joy.

You know what He showed me? My prayers aren’t the type that invite me into intimate relationship with Him.

I ask ask ask away, and hardly ever take the time to listen back to what He has to say.

Wow. I’m so glad I took this challenge.

But it is true. For me to truly abide in Christ, I have to be willing to fully enter into this relationship. I can actively do this abiding through prayer. Not just the throw my pennies in the fountain and hope my wish comes true kind of prayers, but deep relationship prayers where I spend time with the Lord allowing Him to show me my weakness. If I truly listen, He will also encourage, direct and teach me.

Basically, when I go into my prayer time I just need to shut up for a while.


I know it sounds simple. But for me this week, this concept rocked my world. How about you? Are you willing to take this challenge? Every Saturday you can join us in the community.

As hard as it was to open myself up to this, I’m so glad I did. Thanks Cheryl for the throw down.





  1. I can relate so much to the reflections you’ve shared here. It’s so easy to go into prayer with an agenda, rather than asking God how best to pray; asking Him what it is I need today in order to strengthen and deepen my relationship with Him.

    Abiding. Waiting. Listening.

    I guess that’s why it’s called a “practice” and not a “perfect.” 🙂

  2. I’m so glad you’re joining in this journey Julie. I think we all go through times when God calls us deeper in prayer and I know that’s the case for me as well. I had to laugh when your intro to the post was, “my prayer life stinks.” You are a trip! And it’s just that kind of authenticity that encourages others to follow Him. And makes Him smile because you’re not being pretentious!

    Love you!

    • Cheryl, thanks for the opportunity. This challenge has been amazing. And thank you for encouraging my authenticity. My mama always said I was a terrible poker player. I pray it does encourage others to look to Him! Blessings friend!


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