The Bible is filled with God’s promises to different people. Some were made to specific people in certain situations, but many of His promises were made to His children in general. When He made those promises to His children, it included any children to come in the future. If you are alive today and are in relationship with God, through Jesus, you are God’s child and those promises are available to you!
For example, let's say Tom decides to play the lottery. He buys a ticket, picks his lucky numbers and when the winners are called, he has a multi-million dollar ticket! Unfortunately, Tom decides to hang on to his winning ticket and never turns it in for his reward. He has great riches available to him, but he never takes the necessary steps to access them.
The promises God gives us regarding prayer are rich and extremely powerful! Let’s take some time today to unpack what they are and how we can live the abundant life He offers.
I have to be completely honest, I’m not great at promptly returning all of my text messages. I’m even worse at Facebook Inbox messages. And don’t even try sending me an email.
But God promises to answer His children before they even call!
“I will answer them before they even call to Me. While they are still talking to Me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” Isaiah 65:24
“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
He promises that He will 1. hear us and 2. answer every word we send His way.
It's true, His answer may be in a very different way than we had hoped, but even still, He will answer.
Now that is a big promise!
One of my former pastors, Dr. Ed Young Senior, wrote a book that I highly recommend, called Living Under the Rainbow. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific promise made by God to us as followers of Jesus Christ.
In his book, Dr. Young gives us several actions, straight from Scripture, that we must take to live abundantly in the promise of prayer. I have included some of them below.
1. ABIDE in Christ - We must be in a covenant relationship with God, through His Son, Jesus Christ. This is not like the interactions between acquaintances but rather intimate, soul-bearing communion.
We can take the earlier example of Tom winning the lottery further to illustrate this point. Let’s say Tom’s friend, Jim, knew about the winning lottery ticket. He drove straight down to the lottery claims center and told them all about his friend’s winning ticket. Unfortunately for Jim, he couldn’t claim the money for himself. He was trying to access riches that he didn’t hold the rights to. Just the same, God made this promise to His children. Someone who is not a child of God can not claim this for themselves. Only a person in a covenant relationship with God, through Jesus, has access to the promise of God’s ear and answered prayer.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 17:7
"Anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6
2. Pray for God’s Will - Much of Matthew 6 is devoted to Jesus explanation of how we should pray. He tells us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come, and His will to be done. He tells us that our priority needs to be seeking His kingdom and His righteousness first, and all of our other needs will be added to us.
3. Set Aside Pride - We must come to our Father, in our need, and ask Him to give us what we can’t give ourselves. In Jesus explanation of prayer, He says we should ask for our daily bread, reliant on God to provide our needs. This takes humbling ourselves and asking God to provide.
If my people, who are called by may name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears…He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
4. Address Sin - When we are abiding in sin instead of Christ meaning we have unaddressed, unconfessed sin in our life, this blocks our prayers to God.
Psalm 66:18 - “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”
Isaiah 59:2 - God hides Himself from those who are in sin.
James 4:3-4 - When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives…
Don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God?
The promise that God will hear my prayers and act on those prayers provides peace and security as I live through the ups and downs life brings. It gives me confidence to live by faith, and trust that God is with me every step of the way.
Audra and her husband Jordan are called to ministry and he is the senior pastor at their church. They have two beautiful children who bring them tons of joy, lots of laughs, and on occasion new grey hair. She is a former teacher who still loves to teach, enjoys cooking and baking, and has a passion to lead other women to know Jesus and live out their faith in Him.