How to Pray God’s Promises

How to Pray God’s Promises

Praying God’s promises sounds something like this. (1) Speak the promise to God. “Lord you say that you are near to the brokenhearted.” (2) Find yourself in the promise. “Lord, I am brokenhearted  . . .” (3) Apply the promise: This means that you have promised to be near to me. (4) Give thanks: “Lord, thank you for being near me.” (5) Get honest: “Lord, I don’t feel your nearness. Lord will you make your promise felt to me?” (6) Take hold: “I wait for you Lord. I take heart that what I do not feel is true nonetheless. You are mine and I am yours. You are near me! I am not alone.” (7) Testify: When someone asks, how are you doing? You include, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted. I’m counting on that!” OR (1) Speak the promise to God. “Lord, you say that you will supply my every need” (2) Find your loved-one in the promise. “My daughter can’t find a job Lord.” (3) Apply the promise: “You say that her every need is in your care.” (4) Give thanks: “Lord, thank you that our daily bread matters to you.” (5) Get honest: “I feel emboldened and freed,” Or “I can’t see it, but I look to you” (6) Take hold: “I trust you. Lord supply her every need. We wait for you. We count on you.” (7) Testify: When someone asks who your daughter is doing, you include, “The Lord has pledged to supply our every need. I’m waiting on that” What happens when you cannot find yourself in the promise? For example, imagine that you’ve found the promise about God who loved the world. He gave his only son, that whoever believes in him will not die but have eternal life. You look to the promise but cannot find yourself there. You have not yet believed in Jesus or the God who sent him. This means that this promise is not yet yours. At this moment:
The promise of assurance for the Christian turns into a promise of invitation to the one who isn’t a Christian.
This promise can become yours! All you need do is look to Jesus in faith as the One whom God sent out of love for you. Then, the pledge of God is yours. As his own dear child in Jesus, all the benefits of this promise belong to you. Death comes knocking at your door. It seeks to conquer you forever. But you put on the playlist. You begin to sing the promise. Death shrinks back. The promise giver makes good on the promise made. Death must let you go. Death must die as it relates to you. Life with the God who so loved you and gave his son for you, awaits! Another reason, we may not find ourselves in the promise is because the promise was made to a particular person for a unique purpose. God promised Abraham and Sarah children and this for a very specific purpose. We do not receive this same promise. What do we do? At this moment, the promise of assurance for them turns into a promise of exploration and praise for us. We explore the context of the promise. We learn about the character of the One who made the promise and praise Him. Though the specific promise is not for us. The God who made the promise is. The same Being they leaned upon, remains available for us to lean upon too.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. (2 Cor. 1:20, NIV)
For more, see my Small Group Study Guide and Audio message entitled, “Getting Started with the Promises of God” 
Recognizing God’s Nearness

Recognizing God’s Nearness

The largest human questions are sometimes asked in the most ordinary and smallest of places.

“Where is God?” As a little boy, my youngest son Caleb asked this sacred question before bed.

“He is everywhere” I say.

“Is he in my room?”

“Yes, I say, He is here.”

“Is he on my pillow?”

“No” I say, fumbling for words. “Your pillow is like a small flower in his large hands. But he delights in your pillow.

“Is he on my head?” he says giggling.

“No, I say and laugh. I touch his head and rearrange his hair for no reason but love and trying to find words.”He is way too strong to sit on your head without hurting you. But, he created your head with love and care.”

As I turn out the lights and walk across the hall to my room, I’m aware that I’m sharing with my son, a belief that many of his friends and neighbors will not. Like the headline above, some will rightly respond to the arrogance of God talkers by urging greater humility. Yet, what if one can remain opposed to arrogance and still believe that God can be known; Not exhaustively of course but truly? (more…)