It’s like a romantic love story. The groom loves his bride so much that He writes her an entire book, telling her everything she needs to know about their life together. He dotes over her and tells her how much He loves her. He makes amazing plans for their future together. He asks her to know His heart by reading His Words and to respond to Him, pouring her heart out, with thankfulness, gratitude, praise and worship, heartbreak and sadness, needs and wants, fears and trials. He asks her to talk to Him constantly without ever allowing the conversation to stop.
This is the picture of our relationship with Jesus our Lord. We are His bride and He desires a relationship with us. Constant communication.
The times that I have lived out this command in my own life, I have been in awe of the answered prayers, the peace that has surrounded trials, and the truth of His promises fulfilled to me.
The Bible is full of God’s promises. 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!
A practical example of this is when my first child was born. My parents made a promise that they were going to start a college fund and put X amount of dollars into the fund for our daughter. They also promised that they would do the same for any other children we had in the future. When our son was born, they followed through on that promise and opened a college fund with the same amount of money for him as they had done for our daughter. Although the original promise was made directly to her, it applied to any future children and therefore, the promise was for our son as well.
The promises God gives us regarding prayer are rich and extremely powerful! Let’s take some time today to unpack a couple of them, and how we can live the abundant life He offers through these promises.
I must be completely honest, I am not great at promptly returning all of my text messages. I am even worse at Facebook inbox messages,and don’t even try sending me an email.
BUT, God promises to not only open the email, He promises to give an answer to His children before they even hit send!
“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
God makes many promises throughout scripture, but two main promises that come specifically with prayer are that He will 1. hear us and 2. answer every word we send His way.
We aren’t promised that His answer will always be the one we are looking for. But He does promise to hear us and answer.
Now that is a big promise!
One of my former pastors, Dr. Ed Young Sr, 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. Much of what I have learned, regarding the topic of The Promises of Prayer have come from this book and I would highly recommend reading it.
There are several action steps given below, straight from Scripture, that we must take in order to live abundantly in these Promises from God. I have personal learned many of these steps from Young’s book.
Our part in the relationship, regarding prayer~
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 my parents promise they made to my daughter and to any future children we had. This promise did not apply to our friends children, or our neighbors children. It only applied to the children of my husband and myself. Why?Becauseit was a blessing they received for being our children.
“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 our other needs will be added to us” (Matthew 6:33).[SR1] [JE2] [JE3]
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. 2 Samuel 22:7
4. Address Sin - When we are abiding in sin instead of Christ meaning we have unaddressed, unconfessed sin in our life, this hinders our prayers to God. We have been set free from sin, so that we may serve God.
Romans 6:6 “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin- because anyone who has died (to sin) has been set free from sin.”
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, that you ma spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
I’m so thankful for God’s love for me and for you. How wonderful is it that He has written an entire book of how He loves us and full of His promises to us? These have been great reminders for me, of how I can live the abundant life He offers me through my relationship with Him. I hope it will do the same for you!
Ask yourself these questions:
Are you living the abundant life? We would love to hear your testimony of prayer?
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.