God keeps his promises! When we believe that, it changes the way we pray. In 445 B.C. Nehemiah took on the leadership challenge of his life -- to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem. Chapter one of the book that bears his name records his heart-felt prayer to God. Here is a portion of that prayer:"Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses." (Nehemiah 1:8)
Whoa! Nehemiah, did you flunk Theology 101? God is omniscient. He knows all. He never forgets. Why in the world would you say, "Remember"?
Nehemiah's words were not an attempt to jog God's memory, but rather an act of faith. This great leader was recalling God's promise in Deuteronomy 30:1-10. God guaranteed to restore his repentant people, even when their sin had pushed them to the "uttermost parts of heaven." In faith, Nehemiah was asking God to make good on that promise and he wasn't the least bit shy about it.
Nehemiah teaches me to pray the promises of God. This has become a very important lesson for me. Here are some of the ways I do this:
- When I'm tired, I pray, "Lord, remember you said that they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.1I need that strength!"
- When I am in need, I pray, "Lord, remember you said, my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.2I need you to come through!"
- When I begin to doubt, I pray, "Lord, remember you said, you can do abundantly more than all I ask or think.3 Lord, surprise me!"
- When we are going through tough times as a church, I pray, "Lord, remember you said, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.4 Build your church at Spanish River!"
- When I am battling temptation, I pray, "Lord, remember you said that you will not let me be tempted beyond my ability, but with the temptation you will also provide the way of escape, that I may be able to endure it.5Help me see and take your escape hatch!"
In Psalm 138, David reminds us that God values, above all things, his name and his word (Psalm 138:2). Think about that for a moment. Every promise that God makes has a direct bearing on his name and his word. There is no way God is not going to make good on his promise.
Praying the promises of God is not an exercise in "I hope He will," but a humble declaration of "I know He will."
What promise of God do you pray? Why not tell us in the "Speak Your Mind" section below.
1 Isaiah 40:29-31 ESV 2 Philippians 4:13 ESV 3 Ephesians 3:20 ESV 4 Matthew 16:18 ESV 5 1 Corinthians 10:32