There are thousands of promises of God in the Bible. His Word is truth, and whatever he says will come to fruition. But what does it actually mean to pray the promises of God? How can we pray God’s promises without taking Scripture out of context? Do God’s promises still apply to us today?
These are important questions to think through as we dive into Scripture and grasp a better understanding of how to pray God’s Word with power.
We cognitively know that God will keep his promises, but when life happens–when we experience difficulty and hardship, we can sometimes lose sight of the fact that God’s Word is still true, despite our circumstances.
Have you ever been filled with such depression and despair that you couldn’t see that God’s promises still ring true in your life? No matter how we sometimes may feel, we must remember the fact that God will always keep his promises–no matter what.
But before we can accurately pray God’s promises in our lives, we need to understand what a promise is.
What is a Promise?
We as humans sometimes toss around the word “promise” very loosely. We may have even made promises to loved ones and later let them down by not keeping those promises. We also have been disappointed by others in our lives who may have promised something to us, only to find some time later that those promises were not honored.
When it comes to God, he always keeps his promises.
Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled. Joshua 21:45
The Oxford Dictionary defines a promise as “a declaration or assurance that one will do something or that a particular thing will happen.”
Just as God spoke the world into existence with power and might of his voice, when God declares that he will do something, it will happen.
Every single word God spoke to the people of Israel never failed.
God’s Promise to Abraham in the Old Testament
In Sunday School lessons and church sermons, we have heard many of the amazing promises that God declared to the people of Israel, starting with the promise God made to Abram (later named Abraham):
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:2-3
Before the foundation of the world, God chose Abraham to establish the nation of Israel through his family line. God promised to Abraham in Genesis 17:15-16 that his barren wife Sarai (later Sarah) would have a baby, Isaac. Through this promised child, (a child Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years to have!) the nation of Israel was born, and through this line, the promised Messiah was born through Jesus.
In Genesis 17 God also promised to Abraham that he would:
- Make him the father of many nations (Gen 17:4)
- Make him fruitful (Gen 17: 6)
- Make nations and kings from him (Gen 17:6)
- Establish his covenant as an everlasting covenant between him and Abraham’s descendants (Gen 17:7)
- Give Abraham and his descendants possession of the land of Canaan (Gen 17:8)
Our God keeps his promises!
What other Promises did God make to his People in the Old Testament?
There are so many other examples of promises God made to his people in the Old Testament. Here are just a few of the promises he made to Moses, Joshua, and David. Through these servants, God powerfully spoke to his people and fulfilled his promises. Every. Single. Time.
God’s Promise to Moses
In Exodus 6:6 God declared to Moses,
“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.”
And God fulfilled his promise.
In Exodus 12:40-42, God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt–after 430 years of captivity, God’s chosen people were delivered.
God’s Promise to Joshua
When Joshua was summoned as the new leader of the nation of Israel after Moses died, God gave him this promise:
I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.
No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Joshua 1:3-6
Many of us are familiar with the passage in Joshua 1:9 where God said,
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
And God fulfilled his promise.
God was with Joshua when they crossed the Jordan River and took possession of the land of Canaan in Joshua chapter 6.
God’s Promise to David
God’s hand of love and protection was with David ever since he was a young lad in the pastures of the wilderness as a shepherd. When God appointed David as king of Israel, he promised that his throne would endure forever when he said,
“Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:16
And God fulfilled his promise.
Jesus, the King of Kings, was born through the family line of David, and through his sacrifice on the cross for the sins of humanity and his mighty resurrection, his Kingdom is established and will last forever!
All throughout Scripture we can see the amazing hand of God working through his people–and his promises were fulfilled every time!
How Can We Apply God’s Promises to Our Lives?
It is obvious that many of God’s promises in the Old Testament do not specifically apply to us. Whenever we are reading the promises of God in Scripture, it is very important that we understand the biblical context of the promise, and who the promise was referring to historically.
For example, God’s promise to the Israelites about being freed from captivity in Egypt was intended for the people of Israel when they were slaves to the Egyptians. We did not experience captivity in Egypt, but we have all been enslaved to the bondage of sin.
We can hold firmly to the words of Jesus when he said,
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.John 8:36
Since we as believers through Christ have been grafted into the family of God, we can undoubtedly claim the promises of God’s Word! Because of this powerful truth, we can confidently pray God’s promises in our lives. Paul boldly wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:20 that,
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
Will God keep his promises? YES! His words are true, firm, and steadfast.
Can we depend on God to do what he says? AMEN!
As surely as our God lives, his words will be fulfilled!
So when you find yourself doubting God’s faithfulness during times of struggle and hardship, take heart–and remember that God’s promises are “yes” and “amen”. We can count on him to come through on his promises, always and forever.
How Can we Pray the Promises of God?
There is such power in praying the Word of God. We can also use the promises of God from Scripture to powerfully pray in our lives. How can we effectively pray the promises of God?
We can pray by reading the truth of God’s promises in Scripture, and pray those powerful promises back to God as prayers of declaration and praise.
As we pray the promises of God, we are reminding ourselves what God has already spoken through his Word. It’s almost like we are saying,
“Lord, your Word says _________________, and I am trusting you regarding my situation that you will fulfill your promise!”
We can Pray God’s Promises Regarding Worry or Fear
If you are currently struggling with worry or fear, you can read a promise of God from Philippians 4:6,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
You can then turn this promise from God’s Word into a prayer of declaration:
Lord, I thank you that your Word says that I don’t have to worry about anything, but through prayer and petition, I can present my requests to you with thanksgiving! I believe your Word is true, and that you will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus as I surrender my heart to you. I release all fear, worry, and anxiety over to you, and trade my fears in for your perfect peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
We Can Pray God’s Promises Regarding His Presence
We know from Scripture that God is always with us. All throughout the Old and New Testament we see examples of God reminding his people that he is with them always.
When you need to be reminded of the powerful truth that God is always with you, you can read scriptures like,
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”Matthew 28:20
Lord, thank you that your Word says that you are always with me. During the times in my life where I feel far from you, help me to remember that you are with me, and you will never let me go!
We Can Pray God’s Promises for Strength During Trials
We all experience difficult times in our lives. When we hold tightly to the promises of God through Scripture, we can strengthen our prayer lives when we pray these promises back to God. If you are currently going through a difficult situation, remember this promise through God’s Word:
The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.Proverbs 18:10
How comforting it is to know that God is our strong, fortified tower in the midst of life’s trials! You can turn this passage into a power-packed prayer by saying something like,
Lord, I thank you that you are my strong tower. You are my strength, and my shield. In the midst of life’s trials, help me to remember that I can confidently run to you, and you will give me strength. Your Word says that you will keep my safe when I rely on you as my fortified fortress. Praise you holy name!
List of God’s Promises: 100 Promises of God Free Printable
Here is a printable of 100 promises of God that we can remember and live by each day. Print it off and hang it on your refrigerator. Put it in your Bible or on your nightstand. Meditate on his promises daily, and remember that our God is faithful. Pray the promises of God over your life today!
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