Faith and The Prayerful Use of Promises
The promises of God are rooted in the character and purposes of God:
Because of your promise, and according to your own heart,
you have brought about all this greatness,
to make your servant know it.
2 Samuel 7:21
Many of the promises of the Old Testament made to Israel
are now for the Church:
What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the
temple of the living God; as God said,“I will make my dwelling
among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they
shall be my people. Therefore, go out from their midst, and be
separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I
will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons
and daughters tome, says the Lord Almighty.”Since we have these
promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement
of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1
God’s promises granted in Christ are vital for our growth in godliness:
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life
and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us
to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us
his precious and very great promises, so that through them
you may become partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped from the corruption that is in the world
because of sinful desire.
2 Peter 1:3-4
The promises center on Christ and are granted through faith in Him:
This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs,
members of the same body,
and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among
you…was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes.
For 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 1:19-20
Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the
promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to
spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness
in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will
dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called:
“The LORD is our righteousness.”
That is why it depends on faith,
in order that the promise may rest on grace.
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring.
It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many,
but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.
Promises are often delayed but never forgotten by God:
Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD:
None of my words will be delayed any longer,
but the word that I speak will be performed, declares the Lord GOD.
As the time of the promise drew near,
which God had granted to Abraham.
Promises are inherited through faith in Christ and patience in prayer:
So that you may not be sluggish, but imitators
of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence,
which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance,
so that when you have done the will of God
you may receive what is promised.
Who through faith… obtained promises.
Jacob’s example of praying promises:
Then the LORD said to Jacob,
“Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred,
and I will be with you.”
And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham
and God of my father Isaac, O LORD who said to me,
‘Return to your country and to your kindred,
that I may do you good,’But you said, ‘I will surely do you good,
and make your offspring as the sand of the sea,
which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”
Genesis 32:9, 12
Daniel’s example of praying scripture:
In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel,
perceived in the books the number of years that,
according to the word of the LORD
to Jeremiah the prophet,
must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem,
namely, seventy years.
Then I turned my face to the Lord God,
seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy
with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
Asaph’s example of pleading with God to honor his promises:
“Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”
Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
Other examples of using God’s word in prayer:
Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
I entreat your favor with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.