As long as I live there will be something worth fighting for, worth writing for, and worth dying for.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pray the Promises of God

For a couple months now, friends have been really challenging me in the aspect of prayer. One big thing I hear is "Claim the Promises of God." What on earth is that supposed to mean?? The Bible tells us to pray boldly. How does that look? Do I just march into the throneroom of grace, lay open my Bible and say, "Listen, you promised this this and this and I want it now." That's bold. Not sure about respectful, but it is bold.

It reminds me of an attorney's commercial on TV right now. People are shown screaming at their TV's or out their windows. Their battle cry is "It's my money and I need it now!" Is that how we approach God?

Me. I was raised praying like this, "Dear Lord, I really want this and such, like I really really want it, but Your will be done. Amen." A friend challenged me recently that a prayer like that isn't exactly bold and it isn't exactly a faith-based prayer. Might be a good reason why nothing was really happening when I prayed. If something I wanted didn't happen, I just figured it wasn't God's will.

Yesterday morning, I was reading through Chronicles and came across this passage in 1 Chronicles 17.

For thou, O my God, hast told thy servant that thou wilt build him an house: therefore thy servant hath found in his heart to pray before thee. And now, LORD, thou art God, and hast promised this goodness unto thy servant: Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O LORD, and it shall be blessed for ever.
1 Chronicles 17:25-27

In context, this passage falls in the chapter of Scripture where David desires to build a house for the ark. His advisor, for lack of a better word, tell him to go for it. That night, God tells his advisor to tell David not to do it. Instead, God will use David's descendants to build the ark. He promises to establish David's family for forever and to never leave his line. (A promise fulfilled in Christ, for those of you wondering).

So here is this promise from God. David has just heard it. It has just been given. We all know God is a God of His word, He cannot lie, He does not make promises that He will not keep. So, you would think David could kinda put that promise in his back pocket to pull out later. Instead, he prays for God to do as He has promised!


Does he doubt God? No.
Did God tell him to? No.

So what was his reason? Worship.

David declared the promise of God in his prayer as worship to God. Praying for it did four things.

1. It showed he was listening to God
2. It showed he believed God
3. It showed he trusted God
4. It reminded him of the power of God

If I claim the promises of God in my prayer it reminds me of all that He is and all that I am not.

That attitude, of praying the promises of God, has revolutionized my prayer life so far this week. It is one thing to come before God timid and unsure and praying the vanilla "Your will" prayer, disregarding your hopes and dreams. It is another thing to go blazing before Him demanding (like the prodigal son, coincidentally) that He has promised you this and you need it now. I think the happy medium is this, to approach God and claim His promises, not as reminders to Him but reminders to ourselves. In doing so, we humble ourselves before the One who gives and takes away, yet we know that if we ask, He will give it to us. It is a sweet fellowship of trust and obedience.

I don't know if I am showing it well on here. Just imagine how it would change our lives if we went through the Bible and claimed all of the promises that God has given us.

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