Discover Prayer (Part III): Pray the Promise, Not Just the Problem!

Pray the PROMISE, NOT just the PROBLEM.  God was aware of our problem(s) before we were and provided a promise as the solution (i.e., scripture verse(s) in the Bible) long before it came to our attention.  Furthermore, rehearsing ONLY the problem to God makes it grow larger in our hearts (1).  Praying the promise causes our hearts to believe in God more than the problem.  Remember, whatever you place your attention on will grow larger in your heart – PROMISE or PROBLEM.

I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, who will never hold their peace day or night; you who [are His servants and by your prayers] put the Lord in remembrance [of His promises], keep not silence, (Isaiah 62:6 AMPC)

Our scriptural basis for praying the promises:

Praying the promise(s) guarantees that it will be answered according to our request.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7 NET)
The rain and snow fall from the sky and do not return, but instead water the earth and make it produce and yield crops, and provide seed for the planter and food for those who must eat. In the same way, the promise that I make does not return to me, having accomplished nothing. No, it is realized as I desire and is fulfilled as I intend.” (Isaiah 55:10–11 NET)

Furthermore, God has stated that if we pray according to a promise, the answer will always be yes and amen (i.e., make it so)!  

For every one of God’s promises are “Yes” in him; therefore also through him the “Amen” is spoken, to the glory we give to God. (2 Corinthians 1:20 NET)
Not one of the LORD’s faithful promises to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; every one was realized. (Joshua 21:45 NET)
“Look, today I am about to die. You know with all your heart and being that not even one of all the faithful promises the LORD your God made to you is left unfulfilled; every one was realized—not one promise is unfulfilled! (Joshua 23:14 NET)

However, this does not mean we will get just about anything we want, but rather, as we abide in His Word (i.e., the Bible), our desires change to become what God desires for us. Then we ask for what He desires for us and receive it!

Then you will take delight in the LORD, and he will answer your prayers. (Psalm 37:4 NET)

Do not worry; God wants us to have everything that pertains to life and godliness!

I can pray this because his divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence. Through these things he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire. (2 Peter 1:3,4 NET)

Again, God has stated that if we pray according to His will (God’s Word is His will), our prayers are answered according to our requests. 

And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him. (1 John 5:14–15 NET)

Notice the emphasis is on the change in our lives and not God’s:

If we pray according to His will, then we will have confidence that He hears us.  Furthermore, if we have confidence in God hearing us, then we know that our prayer will be answered according to our request. 

This is because God is immutable (i.e., does not change his mind), go back on His promises, or lie.

The Preeminent One of Israel does not go back on his word or change his mind, for he is not a human being who changes his mind.” (1 Samuel 15:29 NET)(cf. Numbers 23:19)
“Since, I, the Lord, do not go back on my promises, you, sons of Jacob, have not perished. (Malachi 3:6 NET)(cf. James 1:17)
so that we who have found refuge in him may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us through two unchangeable things, since it is impossible for God to lie. (Hebrews 6:18 NET)(cf. Titus 1:2)

For example, say you are in a situation that seems hopeless, and you do not know what to do. If you were just to pray the problem, it could go something like this:

Heavenly Father, I just do not know what to do; please help me.

This is good, but it does not include WHY God should help – other than the fact that He is Love (i.e., Grace, Mercy, and Compassion) Himself! Recall we ask in Jesus’ Name (1) because our right to have anything from God the Father is NOT based on our performance or works but rather the completed works of Jesus Christ!

In fact, a covenant (i.e., an eternal contract) has been made between God the Father and Jesus His unique Son for us! (1) This contract is the New Covenant or New Testament of the Bible, which has many promises to use in having our needs, wants, and desires met by God, our Father.

Furthermore, the Old Covenant promises are given to us, and some clarifications, as stated in the New Covenant. That is, the whole Bible and its promises are available to us!

For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope. (Romans 15:4 NET)(cf. 1 Corinthians 10:11)(Romans 4:23-25)

Therefore, we need to read the Bible to find promises that will help with our problems. For example, help with the problem of not knowing what to do is answered nicely by the following promise in the New Covenant:

But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5 NET)

Now let us use the same problem of not knowing what to do and pray the PROMISE along with the PROBLEM (remember motive (1) is important, too):

Heavenly Father, I just do not know what to do; however, you have promised in Your Word that if we lack wisdom, we are to ask you for it, and you will not give us a hard time about waiting so long before coming to you, but you will simply give it to us (James 1:5). I am asking for your wisdom to let my light so shine before people that they may see my good works and give you, my Heavenly Father, all the glory! (Matthew 5:16) I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen

In addition to getting what we need, want, and desire, it is through praying the promises of God that we learn them by spiritual heart, which is what transforms us into Jesus’ image! (1)

Through these things he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire. (2 Peter 1:4 NET)

God has said that his children are destroyed because they lack the knowledge of God and His many promises.

Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; (Hosea 4:1 ESV)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6 ESV)

Consequently, we often blame God for not doing or giving us what we want when the problem is with our asking (1).  We do not know what God has already said and done about our situation; therefore, we base our prayer on the PROBLEM only and not with the addition of the PROMISE.  That is, we fail to understand what has been placed on the table before us (Psalms 23:5).

You prepare a feast before me in plain sight of my enemies. You refresh my head with oil; my cup is completely full. (Psalm 23:5 NET)

Lastly, the New Covenant promises (which includes the Old Covenant with some clarifications) are secured in Heaven by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:11,12, 24,25,26).  This means that God our Father takes the promises as seriously as His unique Son Jesus’ shed blood! (1)

Application Prayer:

Heavenly Father, without your promises, we have no confidence in receiving the things we ask of You.  Please reveal your promises, your will, to us that we might show the world your joy – our strength.  Amen.  (Based on 1 John 5:14,15. John 16:13,24. John 14:26. Nehemiah 8:10).

Discover Prayer Series:

(Security, Wholeness, Success)

Then he said to them, “Therefore every expert in the law who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his treasure what is new and old.” (Matthew 13:52 NET)

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Hal has taught the Bible for over three decades. Through an interdenominational ministry dedicated to helping the local church build men for Jesus, Hal trained men, the leaders of men’s ministries, and provided pulpit supply. Before that, he was a Men’s Ministry Leader and an Adult Bible Fellowship teacher of a seventy-five-member class at a denominational megachurch. Presently, Hal desires to honor Jesus Christ through this Internet teaching ministry, thereby glorifying the Heavenly Father in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. He believes, second to cultivating his relationship with God that raising his family unto the Lord is the most significant task for him while on Earth. Furthermore, Hal believes that being a successful leader in the church or workplace is no substitute for failing to be a successful leader at home.  DOULOS HAL'S TOPICAL INDEX

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