Prayer is a precious gift. The ability to live fully in the new covenant, and take this beautiful part and utilize it to its fullest is an important part of living this life for Jesus. But most often put it off, or approach it casually, or do not even understand what prayer is.
“They pray for help, but they have no specific promise of God in mind that they are praying about, and so their trust floats in the air instead of fastening onto a solid promise. Promises are meant to be believed. Specifically believed. Faith is meant to fasten firmly and unshakably on one or more of those promise. But when promises are not in view, faith dangles in the air. This does not establish the soul, or honor God, as if we took hold of a promise and joyfully trusted that God would keep it as we work.”
I read this the other day and it stuck out to me. I so often pray, or write my prayers down in a journal, and I have nothing specific in mind that I am asking God. I may even ask for things that He never promised to do for me because I do not take what it says in scripture and “present my requests.” Yes, God hears all prayers even the silent, but imagine the power of prayer when we come to the throne of grace saying “Lord, this is what you have promised me and I come before you to say I trust you will do this in my life in this situation.” When we come before God clinging to a promise of His, He will always be faithful. And it requires us to put in the effort as well, to really understand that this is a relationship not just an ask and give type of situation. Think of it like this; it’s a relationship with another human being. You trust this person, he has been a lifelong friend. But to trust in this person who makes no promises is meaningless. To say, “I trust Sam, but I don’t know what he might do,” is not a tribute to Sam in anyway. Sam would be worthy of trust, or not, because you know something about his character, his abilities, or his intentions toward you. “Good intentions” are called promises. The evidence that you trust Sam as a person is your trust in his word. “So, part of living by faith, and thus walking by the Spirit, is that we keep God’s good intentions before us. When we start to pray for God’s help in reading the Bible, we put those intentions before us in the form of promises, and we trust them. Then, in that trust, we act. That is what makes that action ‘by the Spirit’. The Spirit moves through that trust.” And, “Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts know what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27). And that is how this verse comes alive in your life, how it would look in your everyday prayer sessions. Your trust is the channel in which the Holy Spirit works through, your trust must be purposefully placed in the promises of God, and that all comes with reading God’s word and knowing what those promises are. This helps with discerning the voice of God and praying with the reverence and awe that the Lord deserves.
“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“The Lord is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold form those who walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11)
“All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present of the future-all are yours and you are Christs and Christ’s is Gods” (1 Corinthians 3:21-23)
“All the promises of God find their yes in Him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
I encourage you to use some of these promises next time you talk to our Abba Father. Approach the throne of grace with confidence as heirs with Christ, receivers of the same gifts and promises. And to conclude it all with this,
“But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me in your saving faithfulness.” (Psalm 69:13)